Christina Guana is fortunate to have a video of her 15-year-old daughter, Brianna, from two years ago. It is the most treasured, yet tragic video because it is the last time she heard her daughter’s voice.
“She was into sports, she had a lot of friends, she was into cheerleading,” Christina said. “She loved to sing. She just had this happy, free spirit to her.”
The free-spirited teen’s voice was silenced on Sept. 13, 2015.
“She was at the intersection of Johnny Morris and Loyola and there's a four-way intersection right there. She was struck (by a car) at the intersection,” recalled her mom.
Suffering serious injuries and with no identification, officers didn't know who to contact. It took five hours to connect the dots and find her mother.
“They just told me they had a teenage girl at Brackenridge hospital that they needed to be identified. I walked in and I noticed her right off the bat,” Christina said.
Tubes and machines were keeping her daughter alive.
“Initially we weren't sure she was going to come out of it,” she said.
In a coma for two weeks, Brianna finally took her first breath on her own, but a traumatic brain injury is not an easy recovery.
“She has a feeding tube she has to eat her food out of, she's not able to speak very well, she can't hold herself up,” she said.
Round-the-clock care and therapy appointments take their toll.
“I have to call transportation to pick her up for appointments,” Christina said.
Getting to those appointments is difficult without a car. An appointment that should take an hour sometimes stretches to four. However, all of that is about to change.
“It will absolutely change their lives,” said Ronda Johnson of Hope 4 Minds, who coordinated everything.
“I want to thank everybody, It's wonderful. I'm blessed, we're blessed,” said a teary-eyed Christina.
This mother should know. Despite the struggles, the stress, even the setbacks, she knows there is so much for which to be grateful.
“I know what it's like to lose a child,” she said. “I've lost a child before to SIDS. So when this happened, it was like déjà vu all over again.”
Blessings can come in the most unexpected ways.
“I used to look at her and I would cry and get sad because she's limited and her life is not going to be like she wanted it to be, but then I also look at her every day and I'm happy because she's here with me,” Christina said. “Just cherish what you have with your kids and be grateful that you can have another day.”
There are hundreds of children who suffer brain injuries every year. If you'd like to learn more about support groups or help families such as Christina's go here.