WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW
Former Bravo star Melyssa Ford is recovering from a horrific car crash that left her seriously injured.
The hip-hop music video model and reality star — Melyssa starred on Bravo’s Blood, Sweat & Heels in 2015 — is lucky to be alive after her Jeep rolled multiple times on a Los Angeles, California, freeway Thursday.
The 41-year-old was on her way to celebrate a bridal shower just after 12:30 p.m. when an 18-wheeler truck merged into her lane on the Ventura Freeway to Glendale, clipping her back right tire, her rep tells PEOPLE.
The impact caused her 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited to flip three times before landing upside down.
Melyssa sustained a skull fracture, bleeding on the brain and severe cuts and bruises. A 10-inch cut across her face and head had to be surgically closed. She remains in the hospital.
“It’s so difficult in circumstances like these to live 2,500 miles away from my only daughter,” Melyssa’s mother Barbara Ford, who lives in Toronto, Canada tells PEOPLE. “Melyssa is strong, always has been. We are going to get through this together.”
Her devastated family is now asking for members of the public to come forward if they witnessed the collision so the truck driver can be tracked down.
After a lot of thought, her family decided to release graphic images to PEOPLE in the hopes it will prompt witnesses to come forward. The terrifying images were taken by a Good Samaritan, James Harris, who stopped to help just minutes after the smash.
WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES
In the horrific images, Melyssa lies on the freeway, bleeding from the head and in severe pain as bystanders and emergency personnel try to reassure her and get her into the ambulance.
Next to her, the Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored cohost’s crumpled Jeep lies on its roof.
Melyssa’s friend, Celebrity Apprentice star Claudia Jordan, shared a less graphic image on Instagram Saturday sharing that the accident “could have easily taken her life.”
“It’s actually a miracle she survived,” Jordan wrote in the caption. “She doesn’t even remember this as she has a huge gash in her head and blood on the brain.”
Jordan has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover her friend’s medical costs and ongoing care.
Melyssa’s close friend Maryam Iman also provided details on the crash saying the star was saved by her seatbelt in an Instagram post.
“Seeing you in the hospital bed reminded how short life is and how fast things can happen,” Iman wrote. “Driving home yesterday from the hospital completely choked me up. It’s a blessing you are still here with us.”
Iman added that Melyssa “has a 10-inch open wound that had to be surgically closed with staples and stitches and several abrasions on her body.”
“Life is short and so please spread love. Please only send my friend love and healing during this time. Hug your loved ones and hold them close ❤ love you @melyssaford and I’m glad you’re still here with us,” she wrote.