Supermodel Niki Taylor remains in critical condition after undergoing surgery on Thursday morning for injuries to her lungs and liver sustained in a car crash, Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital public affair representatives said.
Taylor's surgery began at 8 a.m. Thursday and lasted for four hours. By noon, the model was doing well, even though she still remains under observation at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit, hospital officials said.
Taylor, 26, was the front-seat passenger in longtime friend Chad Renegar's car when he reportedly ran off the road and hit a utility pole early Sunday while attempting to answer his cell phone, Renegar told Good Morning America on Wednesday. He and another passenger were treated and released after the accident
"I was distracted by something that was not part of what I should have been doing at the moment, which was driving," Renegar told Good Morning America.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted driving causes one-quarter of the nation's 6.3 million annual automobile accidents.
Taylor, who was wearing her seat belt, had no external injuries. Her internal injuries were discovered after she began having stomach pains.
The Cover Girl model "lost extensive amounts of blood" and that her injuries "were life-threatening and remain that way," Dr. Jeffrey Nichols, Taylor's doctor, told Good Morning America on Wednesday.
He also does not expect her condition to improve for several weeks.
Lou Taylor, the model's agent, said doctors were not sure whether she was going to make it but that they say every hour is a good hour.
"They're monitoring her around the clock," she told ABC News.
Taylor's older sister, Joelle Bolline, said Taylor has opened her eyes and can nod and squeeze people's hands, but that she is not yet able to speak.
Taylor's family is grateful for the support the supermodel has received.
"We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and overwhelming support in behalf of Niki," the family said in a press statement released by the hospital.
The family also asked that fans do not send flowers to the hospital because Taylor cannot receive them at the Intensive Care Unit. Instead, they say teddy bears are acceptable.
Cards and gifts for Niki Taylor can be mailed to: Niki Taylor, Grady Memorial Hospital, 80 Butler Street, Atlanta GA 30303