Teenage girl 10 years ago started a Target shopping cart and says she’s lucky to be alive

A New York real estate broker who survived brutal injuries after two teenagers threw a shopping cart from the fourth floor of a Target store that landed her, says she “chooses life” 10 years later.

Marion Hedges, 47, technically “died at the scene” after the heavy plastic cart crushed her as she left the East River Plaza in Harlem with her 13-year-old son after buying candy from Halloween for poor children.

The mother of two was brought back to life by a visiting doctor who provided first aid.

She spoke on the Today show on the 10th anniversary of her injuries and said that despite everything that has happened to her, she considers herself lucky.

“I have told a lot of people how lucky I am and how lucky my son is. I am the luckiest unlucky woman in the world.

Hedges suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone and head trauma. She spent the next four days in an induced coma at Harlem Hospital. She added that at some point her heart stopped beating.

Marion Hedges spoke to the Today Show on the 10th anniversary of her injury by a Target cart that two children pushed four stories and 79 feet

Hedges and her family, including her husband Michael (pictured left) started a nonprofit called Sweet Children to help disadvantaged youth

Hedges and her family, including her husband Michael (pictured left) started a nonprofit called Sweet Children to help disadvantaged youth

Hedges suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone and head trauma as a result of the incident

Hedges suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone and head trauma as a result of the incident

Hedges, seen here with her husband, said that despite everything that has happened to her, she considers herself lucky

Hedges, seen here with her husband, said that despite everything that has happened to her, she considers herself lucky

She lives with permanent brain damage and has said she no longer cries or laughs.

“I couldn’t take care of myself,” she said. “You have emotional regulation issues. For 10 years, I haven’t cried a tear and I don’t really laugh. I have no ups and downs.

Hedges grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City, attended Spence School, and graduated from Barnard. She became a successful luxury real estate broker.

Her memories of the fateful day before Halloween in 2011 aren’t quite there.

“My son was standing next to me and the last time I can remember he was walking out of a store, I don’t remember much else,” she said.

It took Hedges several weeks to regain consciousness and even longer to relearn how to swallow and read again.

She was also not raising her two children, as they were transferred to her mother-in-law’s house for a while.

Hedges, seen here in 2010, a year before the injuries, grew up on New York's Upper West Side, attended Spence School, and graduated from Barnard.  She became a successful luxury real estate broker

Hedges, seen here in 2010, a year before the injuries, grew up on New York’s Upper West Side, attended Spence School, and graduated from Barnard. She became a successful luxury real estate broker

Hedges is seen thanking the jurors after winning a lawsuit.  After an appeals court slashed her, she received $ 29 million

Hedges is seen thanking the jurors after winning a lawsuit. After an appeals court slashed her, she received $ 29 million

The two boys who injured Hedges pleaded guilty – Jeovanny Rosario was sent to a group home and Raymond Hernandez to a foster home and were sentenced to less than two years each.

In 2015, Hernandez was arrested for a series of 14 burglaries.

Hedges hasn’t heard from them but wishes them well.

“I don’t think about forgiveness because forgiveness means I had negative energy to start with and I don’t have any,” she said. “I hope these boys can find something to do to make a difference. “

“I don’t believe in looking back and thinking about why, because there are a lot of whys in life,” Hedges added. “I got survivor’s guilt because I thought why I’m not in a wheelchair?” Why has my spine not been broken? It becomes exhausting.

In 2011, the family sued Target, the mall, and its security company for negligence, claiming companies had ignored previous incidents involving children playing with shopping carts. They settled in 2016, but the civil case was not concluded until last summer.

In 2018, Hedges was awarded $ 45.2 million in a civil case, but an appeals court reduced the sum to around $ 29 million.

Hedges recently founded a nonprofit called Sweet Returns. It aims to help disadvantaged adolescents in various ways.

“We’re going to have after-school educational programs to mentor them and help them make good decisions in life,” she explained.

Ultimately, despite her injuries and trauma, she is determined to make the rest of her life positive.

“I don’t know why I survived, but I choose to make the most of each day,” she said. “Some days I would like to stay in bed, but the reality is it’s a beautiful day, go for it. I have to be chosen to live for a reason.


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Peggy P. Gilmore