WITN November Mom of the Month: Patricia Thomas

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina woman had everything going for her in life, including two businesses, a home, and she had just purchased a new car.

In an instant, her life was turned upside down, but she credits her mom, WITN's November Mom of the Month, for helping the come out of her darkest time in her life.

Those two Washington women are thick as thieves, some even mistaking them for sisters.

"My daughter and I, we are buddies," says Patricia Thomas, our new Mom of the Month. "I think sometimes my husband gets jealous ha."

"My mom is my rock," says Patricia's daughter, Ashuria Thomas. "She's been there with me through thick and thin. We're like best friends."

This mother and daughter have been an inseparable pair that has been ever changed since October 2009.

"Someone cut me off on my bike," Ashuria describes. "Doing 45 miles per hour, I crashed into her car, in the back, flipped over her car and fell onto the other side of the road."

"It was the worst night of my life," her mom tells WITN.

Numerous surgeries and some complications, for two months Ashuria was hospitalized following that motorcycle accident.

"I wouldn't leave her," Patricia says. "I was like a mother with a newborn. I didn't feel it in my heart to leave her. So I stayed there every day and every night."

"Well my femur was ruptured and crushed on the left side," Ashuria says. "My wrist here was also crushed so I have a titanium plate in my wrist now. I had trauma. I went through short-term brain damage and short-term memory loss."

The accident took almost everything from Ashuria, forcing her and her then 15-year-old son to move in with her parents. She had to sell her Greenville home and businesses, going from independent to completely dependent as she was bedridden for two long years.

"There would be times that I would just pray to not be here anymore because it just hurt so bad," Ashuria remembers. "I never thought I would walk again. I just wanted to go and I felt like a burden to my family."

But her mom, Patricia, was there the entire way. Her parents paid to customize their home for her recovery and in addition to working full-time, Patricia became her daughter's nurse and a mother-figure to her grandson. She was never going to let her daughter give up.

"I earned my bachelor's degree actually while I was in the hospital bed," the daughter says. "Instead of laying in the bed and being depressed and not knowing what my future was going to be like. I will have my master's degree next month."

It's been eight years since that accident, and every day Ashuria is still in pain. But she's now hoping to get a job in the medical field helping others who have become disabled, and she wants to have her own home again.

"I'm glad she's getting her masters, but I don't want to see the day that she leaves and walk out that door," Patricia says. "That will break my heart."

Ashuria says she will never go far away and with her mom by her side, she knows the sky is the limit.

Each Mom of the Month gets a $100 gift card and free oil changes for a year from Johhny's Tire Sales and Service in Greenville.