HOUSTON (KTRK) --Two months ago, Adessa Ellis and her friends were getting ready for the MS 150 bike ride.
It was early on a Saturday morning, along Highway 90 in Fort Bend County. It was perfect biking weather.
Michelle Nelson recalls, "We were in mid conversation. We still had eye contact. Then I saw something black move across my field of vision, and I saw my friend thrown 30 feet."
It was the moment that a car, Nelson said, veered onto the highway shoulder where she and Ellis had been riding side by side.
"I heard the sound of metal, as loud as a train," she said. "And then there was the sound of Adessa being hit."
Ellis' injuries might have killed a lesser person immediately. The ground where she was thrown was muddy, which spared her head trauma, but her other injuries were profound.
"She was barely breathing, but she had a Garmin device on her wrist, which showed she still had a heart beat," said Nelson.
As a diagnosis later showed, both of Adessa's lungs were collapsed, she had a severe back injury, both her tibia and femur bones were broken, and her liver was perforated. She was taken by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she has remained since the morning of the collision.
Ellis is a wife, a mother of two teenage daughters and a UPS delivery driver. She had ridden in the MS 150 for the past decade and also competed in Ironman triathalons.
"She is a survivor and a fighter," Nelson said of her friend.
Ellis' co-workers at UPS, her friends and the cycling community have raised some $100,000 to help with medical expenses. She was moved from the ICU floor in recent days.
She is also fighting a blood infection caused by exposure to the mud in which she was thrown.
At Society Cycling Works in Sugar Land, there is a donation jar and wristbands to help raise more money for the family. Ellis was a fixture at the store, and friends say she was born and raised in Fort Bend County. Since she was injured, the store has sold more safety devices for cyclists, including laser lights that define the 3 foot right right-of-way vehicles are supposed to give bikes.
Jennie Leverette, who owns the store with her husband, said Adessa may not be riding in this year's MS-150, but Team Adessa will. Their jerseys are ready.
"We hope people ask us about it," she said. "We can start a conversation about safety, about how cars and cyclists should share the road."
The Fort Bend Sheriff's Office is still investigating the incident and awaiting toxicology results on the 25-year-old driver, which should be ready by the end of the month.