Hit-and-run victim’s health improving

Joshua Valdez

Hit-and-run victim Joshua Valdez, 22, has started to stay awake for prolonged periods of time and has even started moving his legs on his own, according to his friend Josh Diget.

Diget visited the comatose Morgan Hill resident over the weekend at his hospital room at San Jose Regional Medical Center.

Valdez, known to his friends as “Joshie,” has been at the hospital since early in the morning June 16, when Morgan Hill police found him lying unconscious on the street near the intersection of Butterfield Boulevard and San Pedro Avenue.

Valdez suffered numerous broken bones and a head injury. Police determined shortly after finding him that he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident, and he had been walking home by himself from a friend’s house when the accident happened.

On June 22, police arrested Sandra Arias, 28 of Morgan Hill, on suspicion of felony hit and run after a tipster reported suspicious front-end damage to her Volkswagen Beetle.

Arias’ arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday at South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.

Valdez, a 2008 graduate of Gilroy High School, still cannot communicate or talk, but his friends and family have reported progressive – almost daily – improvements in his ability to respond to them with physical reactions.

Over the weekend, his mother put her face close to his while he was awake, and asked him to wink while she did so herself, and Valdez winked back, Diget said. He also squeezes people’s hand when they hold his hand and squeeze.

While his eyes are open often now, Diget said it still doesn’t appear as though he is always focusing but rather he’s blankly staring.

The right side of his body seems to be more active than his left side, and he is still recovering from a case of pneumonia he came down with a few days after he was admitted to the hospital.

Valdez’ friends have organized another bake sale to raise money for his medical expenses, 11 a.m. today at Britannia Arms Almaden, 5027 Almaden Expressway, San Jose.

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