BOULDER, Colo. -- A Boulder woman's son is speaking out after his 71-year-old mother suffered traumatic injuries in an attack by a teenage hitchhiker.
Gregg Laverentz said his mother is recovering, but remains in the Intensive Care Unit days after the brutal attack Tuesday.
His mother, now identified as Katie Kulpa, is described as a giving and kind woman.
"It could happen to anyone anywhere. It's like I would never expect in a million years for this to happen to my mom," Lavrentz said.
Boulder County Sheriff's Office officials say she picked up a 16-year-old, along with two other hitchhikers on their way back from camping. She offered them a space to stay while they awaited a ride home.
That's when Jeffrey Collins, 16, allegedly hit her from behind with an iron fire poker.
"This entire side of her face was swollen shut -- a lot of blood [and] stitches," Laverentz said.
His mother's severe injuries prevented him from even recognizing his her.
"I think it's going to be hard for her to maintain who she was, which is another thing that really frustrates me, because now I'm going to lose part of my mom," he told Denver7.
Laverentz said his mother is recovering, and he's working to help her out by raising money for her medical bills. Those interested in helping can click here.