Young woman critically injured in crash is headed home after months of care in Colorado

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Chelsea Ellis is headed home! The 30-year-old, who has been receiving world-renowned care at a hospital in Colorado, will come back to the community that has supported her immensely.

Back in April, Ellis was on a walk with a friend when she was hit by a Buffalo Police cruiser at Main Street and Benwood Avenue. She was rushed to ECMC, where she stayed for two months. In June, she left for Craig Hospital in Colorado. She learned how to swallow and talk there, while still on a ventilator. She even learned how to navigate a wheelchair using eye-gaze technology and got PRK corrective eye surgery, so she is no longer at the mercy of others to put on her glasses.

“She also was gifted with music therapy while she was out there,” Linda Jackson said, Chelsea’s aunt. “Chelsea had learned to play the guitar just a year before this accident so she could perform at her brother’s wedding, so the music therapy really helped her spirits.”

When Chelsea returns home Wednesday afternoon, she’ll live in a fully-accessible home in Alden. Jackson said the family couldn’t find anything suitable in Buffalo, but this home is brand new and ADA approved. Jackson hopes it will allow her niece to have a fresh start in WNY.

“The best part about being home for Chelsea, although it is a new home for her, is to be around familiar surroundings and the people,” she said. “She is such a people person. She loves the community, the city of Buffalo, but the city of Buffalo is really the people of Buffalo. Her social, emotional, physical, overall, her wellbeing will be so much more improved.”

The WNY community has come together to pray for Chelsea, and help pay for her care. According to Ellis’ family, the hospital stay and air ambulance transport to and from Colorado cost around $515,000. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $350,000 so far.

If you’d like to help Chelsea’s cause, there is a benefit happening on Saturday, October 24th. Click here for more details.

On Sunday, people will welcome Chelsea home in a socially-distanced ‘Welcome Home Brigade’ in Alden.

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.

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