MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan (PIX11) — When a well-liked crossing guard was struck by a taxicab that sent her to the pavement, leaving her with severe head trauma on Monday, her situation was not good. On Friday, it was far better, thanks in part to support shown to her by hundreds of the children she serves.
Their cards, notes, posters, and other keepsakes were meant to boost the spirits of NYPD Crossing Guard Sonia Javaheri, 61, and it was evident from her recovery bed at Mt. Sinai Morningside that it’s working.
“Her recovery has been tremendous,” said Dr. Kusuma Nio, the Mt. Sinai Morningside intensive care surgeon who worked to save Javaheri’s life after the collision. “She’s done really remarkably well,” he said in an interview at the hospital.
It was there that the crossing guard received visitors on Friday afternoon — two women who represented hundreds of children from pre-K to sixth grade at P.S. 198 and P.S. 77, two Upper East Side schools whose students Javaheri serves.
The women, Jenny Frisch and Erica Wolf, are leaders of the P.T.A. chapters at the two schools, and they brought the children’s items to Javaheri in person.
Earlier in the day, some of the hundreds of kids who’d sent greetings to Javaheri spoke with PIX11 News about their feelings, which had led them to communicate with her through art and writings.
“I got worried,” said Alex, a fourth grader. “I felt really bad for her.”
Another fourth grader, Graham, said that his first reaction to hearing what had happened to his favorite crossing guard was emotional.
“That’s sad,” he said. “I hope she feels better.”
She is feeling better, said her medical team at Mt. Sinai. She’d been transported in critical condition after the collision on Monday afternoon, but had stabilized so well by Friday afternoon, that she was blowing kisses and waving at her visitors, who represented dozens upon dozens of students who wished her well.
“She’s like really kind,” said fourth grader Sidra, who said that Javaheri responds to every one of her questions lovingly. “She would always help,” Sidra said.
Owen, a third grader, said that he looks forward to seeing the crossing guard every day on his way to school. “She mostly smiles at me and I smile back to her,” he said.
Another fourth grader, Elly, said that Javaheri “is always nice.”
Her kindness to the children was reflected back at her in the mementos they made for her. Javaheri’s husband, Mohammed Ramezani, was teary-eyed as he spoke of the outpouring of support.
“All the kids, and mothers and fathers, they’re missing her,” he said.
He also said that his NYPD school crossing guard wife was heavily visited by NYPD officers all week, including a chief. The officers had given her a significant financial gift, Ramezani said.
The school parent groups also gave a substantial financial gift to her.
Ramezani said that they were deeply grateful. He is himself a taxicab driver, who said he was shocked when the crash happened.
The collision remains under investigation, according to the NYPD.