It was about 4 p.m. Thursday when Emily Ayres left her job at Hilton Head’s Resurrection Church. But the day care center employee and intern pastor didn’t get far before the head-on collision that sent her to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.
In the aftermath of the crash on Spanish Wells Road, someone picked up Emily’s phone. The ‘In case of emergency’ contact was Emily’s mom.
“The lady got Emily’s phone and called me to tell me about the crash,” Jennifer Smith Cannon said Friday. “As her condition changed, she called me back. Then she called to tell me that they were sending her by helicopter to Savannah.”
According to Lance Cpl. Matthew Southern of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Ayers, of Okatie, was the sole occupant in her 2006 Mazda four door. The other car, traveling southbound, was driven by Steffen Jarrett, of Martinez, Ga. Jarrett was ultimately charged with driving left of center. He and the passenger in his 1999 Honda SUV were treated for their injuries.
Jennifer stayed with her daughter overnight at the hospital. The 20 year old has a long road to recovery, requiring plates and screws put into her upper left arm and elbow. But, her mom says, she will recover.
Jennifer described her daughter as a fighter. And she’s been that way since birth. Emily weighed only 2.8 lbs. when she was born 10 weeks early.
“I really want this lady to know that I deeply appreciate what she did,” Jennifer said. “She was my connection to my daughter during a time when I wasn’t there.”
Update: The mystery caller contacted Jennifer Smith Cannon shortly after this story was published online. We hope to be able to provide more information in the coming days.