|Lillian before the accident with her husband, Jorge Lomeli.|
On Aug. 26, Lillian Lomeli and her two sisters, Nora Walsh and Alva Lopez, enjoyed a lovely Sunday brunch at Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula. Little did they know how dramatically altered all of their lives would be just a few hours later.
That evening, as Lillian stood at the window of her sister’s brand new Honda Civic to say her goodbyes, something happened so suddenly, all her son could manage to yell was, “Mom, run!”
Anthony Lomeli was standing just 20 feet away on the driveway of their Menifee home, where he witnessed a car racing down their normally quiet street. It crashed into his aunt’s car, pinning his mother underneath. The driver, reportedly intoxicated and attempting to flee the scene, threw his car into reverse, dragging Lillian with it before he passed out unconscious.
This was the tragic beginning of a lifetime of change for not only the Lomeli family, but for nearly everyone connected to them. Lillian remained in an induced coma in ICU at the Inland Valley Trauma unit for four weeks before she awoke in a psychotic state and talking nonsense.
Since the day of the accident, she has continued to make progress, but will never again lead an independent life. She is lucky to be alive but suffers paralysis on the left side of her face, is temporarily wheelchair bound due to a broken foot that was never set, and deals with multiple obstacles on a daily basis. Her sister says, “Lilly is not Lilly, but she is better off than when it first happened.”
As they emerge from the chaos, the Lomeli’s have found themselves with mounting medical bills too overwhelming to comprehend. And so, the community is stepping in to try to make a difference and help ease their struggle.
In fact, just down the road in Temecula, a not for profit company called Thrivent Financial and a local organization called Make A Difference were looking for a candidate to sponsor when they heard about Lillian through close connections. One of the first responding firefighters on the scene of the accident was the brother in-law of Bill Bohmer, who works at Thrivent Financial and is the Treasurer for Make a Difference.
It was decided Lillian Lomeli would be the recipient of this year’s Make A Difference annual fundraiser. It will be held this Sunday, Nov. 18 at (ironically enough) Wilson Creek Winery. All of the proceeds from this sold -ut event will go to the Lomeli’s.
As a not for profit company, Thrivent Financial is making the night possible by picking up the tab, allowing 100 percent of the proceeds to be given directly to the family. Make A Difference Foundation is nonprofit 501(c) organization local to the Temecula Valley.
By the grace of strangers, a terribly unfortunate accident has come full circle and with the help of her community, Lillian will continue to improve.
There will also be a yard sale this Saturday, Nov, 17, to benefit the family at 31676 Brentwood Ave. in Menifee.
If you would like to make a donation to benefit the family, please visit the Make a Difference website and under description for donations put “For Lillian Lomeli.”
If you would like to make a check donation, you can mail your contribution to:
Attention: Lillian Lomeli
28780 Single Oak Drive, Suite 250
Temecula, CA 92590