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'He's a miracle': Winter Haven man still alive after hit-and-run crash

While the investigation continues, Winter Haven Police are still looking for the person who's responsible.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hospitalized for nearly two months, a 23-year-old man is lucky to still be alive.

"It's too hard for me. Every minute, every second is hard," Leilani Matos Colon said in an exclusive interview with 10 Tampa Bay's Angelina Salcedo. 

Her son left with a traumatic brain injury, unable to speak after she says he was hit by a car on Jan. 27, 2022. That's when she says time stopped.

"My brother called me and said, 'Something happened to Joshuan. Something bad happened.' I said, 'What's wrong? Is everything okay?' He said, 'No, I'm on my way to the hospital,'" Matos Colon said.

Right now, Joshuan Matos is still fighting for his life at Lakeland Regional Health. His mom relocated her with his siblings, leaving everything behind in Massachusetts to try and support him during this time. While they struggle financially, they're doing all they can to make sure he has the best life possible. 

"I see my son, but I see he's not my son. I said, 'This is not my son. Where is my son?' It was too hard. I started crying," Matos Colon said.

In bed, hooked up to machines with cuts and bruises, Leilani gets no response back whenever she says, 'I love you'. She says Matos was hit by a car while in Winter Haven near State Road 544 while he was headed home on his electric scooter.

"The doctor said, 'Maybe your son won't win in this situation. I just want to prepare you in case something changes,'" Matos Colon said.

The prognosis more than a month ago was he wouldn't survive, but after prayer, Matos Colon says a few days later his vitals starting doing better. She prays everyday her son will get out of the hospital.

Joshuan is her miracle, but there's still questions about what happened to him that night.

"My kids told me whoever did it ran off. There's no information, no nothing," Matos Colon said.

The Matos family says whoever hit the 23-year-old didn't stop and drove away.

"I have no words for this person. I just pray to God and say, 'God thank you that my son is alive. Thank you,'" Matos Colon said.

Matos Colon says she can't forgive the person that did this to her son right now. She's still waiting for the Winter Haven Police Department to figure out who hit Joshuan and left.

While in the process of relocating, the family is looking for any help they can get to support their loved one and stay on their feet. If you'd like to support them, you can here.

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