FORT WORTH, Texas — Xitclalli Vasquez wrote a letter to the man who changed her life. She hopes her words will change his life, too.
"I wanted to know what he do [sic] that day," said the nine-year-old. "Did he remember how it happened?"
Xitclalli is in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down She is unable to wrestle with her four brothers and sisters like she used to. She wrote:
- There are days that I cry cause I can't do what I used to do.
It happened July 9, 2011, days before Xitclalli celebrated her eighth birthday. The girl — with her aunt, sister and nephew — had just spent the day at North East Mall in Hurst getting haircuts. The girls got manicures. It was day packed with fun.
- I was excited to show my family my nails and haircut.
But on their way home, Jeremy Solis slammed into their car at the corner of 28th Street and Sylvania Avenue in Fort Worth.
- I don't remember the first severals days. I could not talk so I had to use my thumb to answer Yes or No.
Police said Solis was driving drunk — his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.
- There are days that are bad because I have hard time getting around.
"It's a challenge to have a daughter with a disability — especially when a year-and-a-half ago she was walking," said the girl's mother, Arabella Vasquez. "I think that's what hurts the most."
Xitclalli's mom read her daughter's letter to Solis Monday in a Tarrant County courtroom after Solis pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
"She has a great heart," said her mom. "She wanted to see the turnaround. Is he sorry for what he did?"
The girl's words made an impact on the judge, other people in the courtroom — and Solis.
- Look at what I said and the words I said and tell me how I look and feel. How do you feel today?
Xitclalli saw his tears, and so did her family.
"I did see him cry several times," Mrs. Vasquez said. "Honestly, I do feel that he had some remorse."
For the family, the focus now is helping Xitclalli get better. The girl has years of therapy ahead of her.
"She's so strong, and she hasn't given up," said her mom. "I have hope, and I believe she we will walk again."
And so does Xitclalli Vasquez. The 4th grader wants her dream to come true.
"To walk so I can be a doctor," she said.
KVUE's sister station WFAA wanted to talk to Jeremy Solis, but he turned down the request for an interview.