JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A week and a half after a Jacksonville mother was killed crossing the road to Yom Kippur services in Mandarin, her daughter remains in the hospital, trying to recover from her injuries in the crash.
Investigators say 57-year-old Ester Ohayon died on the scene, and her 16-year-old daughter Orly was taken to UF Health Jacksonville.
As the teen recovers without a mother, her friends and classmates at Wolfson High School are stepping up to be there for her.
The members of the International Baccalaureate program at Wolfson are a tight-knit group. Orly lost her father years ago and now her mother, so they say she needs a whole lot of love and support.
"Her name Orly means 'my light' (in Hebrew) and she really is the light for all of us," Orly's friend Sarita Weltman said.
Orly's friends have nothing but the kindest things to say about her.
"Orly is, I think, one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet in your life," her friend Armany Youssef said.
Now an orphan trying to recover from her own physical injuries from the crash, Orly's friends say she has been an inspiration. She's been positive the whole time and prayerful.
"Seeing her through this, it just makes me see that you can pull through anything," friend Aleksandra Skrypko said.
Wolfson's IB program is like a family, members say, and since the crash, they've been taking turns visiting, spending the night at the hospital, making cards and hot meals.
"We don't know why this is happening, and I don't want to believe this is happening," Weltman said. "But it is, and we just have to be there with her and keep each other strong."
"At a time like this, she's going to need family, she's going to need friends, and we are her family," Youssef said.
Orly's classmates and teachers have now set up a donation account for medical bills, and they're working on a way to bring school to her in the hospital by video recording her classes.
"We're going to work a plan out," teacher Ralph Bickham said. "We're going to get them recorded, and I'll try to make sure I'm teaching as if I'm teaching to the kids and Orly's still in my audience."
"We can do anything for her, and we will be there as her emotional support," Skrypko said. "We will be there for her as her family because we are a family together and we'll do anything for her."
If you'd like to help Orly in her recovery, the special donation VyStar account number is 703012148 and routing number 263079276.