(SLIDELL) -- After a rough couple of days, Karen Ray feels like she can finally breathe.

"The past three days it has been good. The first part of the week, it was very hard. But my faith in God kept me strong," Karen Ray said.

She's been spending her days and nights at University Medical Center in New Orleans watching over her son, Ivy Immanuel Toney. He's known by his friends as "Ivan" and in his community, he's "Mr. Slidell."

One week ago, Ray's world was torn apart.

"I didn't get the call until Saturday morning, around 7:00, that Ivy was here at University Medical Center and that he was in critical condition," Ray said.

Around 8 p.m. on December 7, at the intersection of Airport Road and Tiara Drive in Slidell, a red Nissan Versa smashed into Toney and drove off.

"He had head injuries, all of his ribs were broken. His sternum was broken. And we just found out a couple of days that he had several fractures in his pelvis," Ray said.

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Three days after his accident, St. Tammany deputies arrested the driver, Willis Barker II.

"It was very reassuring to me that he was in custody, but within 24 hours he was released, Ray said. "He just left him. And I know he knew he hit him because his windshield was broken," she said.

Toney will have to undergo surgery tomorrow. Even through all of his pain, his personality shines.

"He was sleeping and I managed to get a thumbs up from him," Ray said.

This isn't the first time that Ivy has had something like this happen to him.

"He was hit by a car when he was 18-months old, Christmas shopping with my grandmother and another time at 10, playing ball in the yard with some children," Ray said.

Hollie Hernnadez has known Ivy for 15 years.

"Just to see him there it was just, it was just heartbreaking. It truly was. But he's strong! He's meant to be here and he's not going anywhere. He's gonna pull through," Hernandez said.

Toney is also friends with Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer's family. Toney and Cromer's daughter went to junior high school together.

"He's everywhere, he's walking all over the place, he's always talking about Slidell. He's always talking about what he's going to do," Cromer said.

Now the community is doing its part.

This Wednesday (Dec. 19), they're hosting a blood drive for Toney. Paul Adams with The Blood Center says when it comes to serious injuries like Ivy's, giving blood is so important.

"You're gonna get that really great feeling of knowing that with that one donation, with less than an hour of your time you would've been able to save three lives," Adams said.

The outpouring of love brings tears to Rays' eyes. It's something she'll never forget.

The Blood Drive will take place Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium.