When 17-year-old Amanda Graham was briefly awakened from a medically induced coma the day after a car crash that nearly killed her, nursing staff at Victoria General Hospital looked for signs of improvement.
The high school student did everything she was asked. First, she squeezed the nurse’s hand, then her mother’s.
That moment was nothing short of a miracle for mother Angela Amos, who lost her first child to life-long health problems in 2006 when the daughter was 16.
Amos fought back tears and smiled at Amanda. She refused to cry in front of her, even though that soft grip was the first communication she’d had with her daughter since before the crash early Saturday.
When police and firefighters found her just after midnight, Graham was trapped in the passenger seat of an upside-down car with her head submerged in swampy water at the bottom of a gully along Burnside Road West.
“If these people hadn’t got to Amanda in time, had the hospital staff not done such an amazing job, I would have lost both my kids,” Amos said. “This is an absolute miracle.”
Doctors have told the Graham family that Amanda cracked two ribs and chipped her pelvis in the crash. She suffered a collapsed lung, but a brain scan shows nothing out of the ordinary so far.
“It’s always in the back of our minds that there may be a brain injury of some kind, but all we want right now is to get her back to us,” Amos said.
She and Amanda’s dad, Jamie Amos, each got a call about their daughter around 1 a.m. Jamie Amos doesn’t remember the drive to Victoria General Hospital. He remembers walking into a room and watching four or five nurses and a doctor surrounding his unconscious daughter, who was hooked up to several machines.
“I saw her and left the room — it’s all a blur,” said Jamie, who heard that before the crash, his daughter was picked up by a friend in a car after getting off work at the McDonald’s restaurant in View Royal.
Both Jamie and Angela have been staying at Jeneece Place adjacent to the hospital so they can be close to their daughter. At least one parent is always by her side in the intensive care unit, while the other tries to get rest.
“I don’t even want to drive right now. My mind’s just not there,” Jamie said.
Crowds of Amanda’s visitors have filled up hospital hallways, waiting rooms and a prayer room almost daily, including family members, friends, teachers and counsellors from Spectrum Community School.
The family is optimistic about the teen’s condition. Doctors say they will try to pull her out of the coma, possibly as early as today.
© Copyright 2013