Middletown native Carla Baum was completing a cardiology internship at a specialty and emergency veterinary clinic in Florida when a car crash in October sent her to the ICU for two weeks.
Now, the 27 year old is back in New Jersey recovering from traumatic brain injury and facing "overwhelming medical expenses," according to her friend Mike Lazarski who started a GoFundMe campaign this week to help Baum cover costs.
"I know that she would do the same thing for me," Lazarski said in an interview.
"She's such a kind-hearted person," the Manchester resident added, "and just wants to help people."
Baum was the valedictorian of the University of Minnesota class of 2012 and decided to specialize in cardiology because "she has a strong passion for heart sounds," Lazarski said.
Baum's insurance coverage has been maxed out, Lazarski added, and she now requires cognitive therapy three-days-a-week to regain visual and cognitive skills.
"She would do anything to try and improve the life of anyone," said Lazarski.