The New York mother of two who suffered a serious brain injury and lost the use of her left eye after two teenagers sent a shopping cart crashing down 50 feet onto her says she forgives the boys and is more concerned for the welfare of her own teenage son, who witnessed the accident.
Marion Hedges was briefly in a coma and now needs daily physical therapy after two teenage boys hoisted a shopping cart over the railing of a shopping mall parking garage last fall.
In a video tape obtained by the New York Post, the two teens are seen hoisting a shopping cart at the East Harlem Target shopping center in New York City. At first it gets stuck, but then the teens push it over, sending it crashing 50 feet down and hitting Hedges, 47, as she is standing below. Hedges spent weeks fighting for her life.
"I wish them well, I do," she said. "I feel very sorry for them. My son is 13 also, and he is a very good boy."
Hedges' forgiving attitude is less surprising knowing that she is a philanthropist who works with an organization that gives to women and children. She was at the mall at the time buying Halloween candy for under-privileged children.
What she's most worried about now, she says, is how the incident has affected her eyewitness son.
"The video shows my son being so brave, but I don't want him to hear the screaming and the trauma," Hedges said. "I don't think my son or his friends would do anything like that. These boys obviously have some issues. A shopping mall is no place for kids, but they had nowhere to go on that day."
The video also shows the bravery of a third teenager who was at the mall that day. In the video footage of the incident, 14-year old Achilles Baskin can be seen trying to stop the other two from tossing the cart over the railing, and then is seen running off to find help.
Achilles later turned his friends in, and they pleaded guilty. One boy is serving six to 18 months in a non-secure facility in Westchester, while the other is doing six to 16 months in a therapeutic group home.
After watching Hedges suffer a serious brain injury and go through grueling rehab, the woman's father-in-law is much less forgiving.
"What have these two young thugs learned? That you can get away with something like this with very little punishment, and that's a very bad commentary on the state of justice," Michael Hedges Sr. said, adding to ABC News New York affiliate WABC that he believes the boys should be "hung by their toe nails."
Achilles, who tried to stop them, spent three weeks in New York's Bellevue hospital for psychiatric evaluation after witnessing the event.