KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It’s a time to remember people who have lost their lives to crime and also show support for survivors.
The family of Nell Pittman is using this week to bring awareness to their situation, as well as the many others who are also impacted by this.
“On January 2, 2020, my mom was at one of her favorite restaurants here in Kinston to get her and my dad dinner,” said Pittman’s daughter, Hernika Cannon. “In her attempt to get back in her car, we’re thinking it was an attempted carjacking. Someone with an aluminum bat hit her several times in the head.”
The attack left Pittman with a traumatic brain injury.
“Three minutes changed her life and her family members’ life forever,” Hernika said.
After months in the hospital, Pittman was released back home with family, but life looks different now.
“She is immobile, she is non-verbal and requires 24-hour care,” she said. “Prior to that, she was very independent.”
The theme of this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “survivor voices.”
“We are Nell’s advocates because she is no longer able to speak for herself,” Hernika said. “We need support, we need resources. My mom, she can’t do anything for herself. She requires 24-hour care, she requires everything by someone else, so whenever I hear of any funds or resources available, I try to jump on it and get her the care she deserves and needs.”
The family is also advocating for others who are dealing with the same impacts.
“This week is for us to come together and tell our stories, so we can be engaging and encouraging others who are in the same situation where their loved ones and families have been impacted by crime,” said Tah’Ron Cannon, Pittman’s son-in-law.
Pittman’s family said regardless of what they’ve gone through because of this crime, they’re thankful for her spirit and the days they still have left with her.
“It’s extremely heartbreaking, but we have seen her bounce back,” Hernika said. “She is so resilient. We cherish every moment with her.”
No arrests have been made in Pittman’s case. Kinston Police said there aren’t any updates right now, but are still investigating.
Pittman’s family is hosting Nell Pittman Day this Saturday at the River of Life Christian Center in Kinston. It’s a walk-a-thon and resource fair from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can sign up to be a vendor or participant. Above is more information about the event.