A San Francisco woman is paralyzed after a nearly 100-pound tree limb landed on her head and lower back at Washington Square Park last week.
The giant branch collapsed nearly 60-feet and fell on Cui Zhou as she was watching her two children play in the park on Friday afternoon. Emergency crews rushed to the scene to provide assistance, and transferred the 36-year-old woman to San Francisco General Hospital.
"I can't move by myself," said a weakened Zhou, who told NBC Bay Area she is in a lot of pain and will never be able to walk again because the branch fractured her skull and severed her spinal cord.
Zhou said she was glad the branch hit her and not her children. The victim's children are now with their father as she struggles to recover.
Police said the 9- and 5-year-old children saw the branch fall.
"It shouldn't happen to anybody in the park," Jian Cong Tan, Zhou's husband, said. "Nobody should suffer like this."
Arborists have determined the pines in the San Francisco park are in good condition, and say what happened to Zhou was a freak and tragic accident.
Tan says the doctors don't yet know when his wife will be released. Although aware of the doctor's prognosis, he is "hoping for the best."
"We will go to rehab," he said, to help his wife walk again.
Zhou remains concerned about her children. Her younger daughter was playing in the sand and the older girl was sitting next to her mother, but walked away with only a scratch.
"They saw pretty much what happened and they were really scared," Tan said. "They didn't know what to do at the moment."
He said the family is trying to remain strong and help the girls return to some sense of normalcy.
Although the children are "much better now," Tan said they "don't eat a lot" and are "always thinking of their mom."
"They always ask, Where's Mom? I want to see Mom.'"