Just over a year ago, an 11-year-old Lubbock girl almost lost her life during an ill-fated trip home from a swim party. Today, she's yet another inspirational miracle kid.
One year ago, outstretched arms were not possible for miracle kid Celeste Guajardo, and shooting hoops with her family in their backyard was out of the question. On June 3rd, 2003, Celeste, her father Selestino, and her brother Matthew were returning home after dropping off her sister and a friend. None of them knowing their lives were about to change dramatically.
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As the family turned down their street, an oncoming car hit them full speed on Celeste's side. Selestino remembers the tragedy.
"I grabbed her and you could see she was... I tried to talk to her and she started going into convulsions. Somebody gave me a shirt and I was trying to stop the bleeding and I was so scared. I didn't know what to do," says Selestino.
All three Guajardos were taken immediately to University Medical Center. There, doctor's rushed to stabilize Celeste and assess the trauma to her brain.
"We found she had a pretty significant head injury with both sub-arachnoid blood, so bleeding around the brain, and also injury to the brain itself. So, that's pretty serious stuff," says Dr. Chris Blewett, Chief of Pediatric Surgery.
"You can't sleep, thinking is she going to come out of it or if she's going to be better or if she's going to be the same way she was. It was like my life just went through me, you know. I didn't know if I was going to lose her or not. It was pretty hard," adds Selestino.
"I just got scared and starting crying," says Tillie Guajardo, Celeste's sister.
After coming out of a two week coma, the road ahead would be long for Celeste, one filled with several surgeries and months of therapy.
"Like stretching out my arm, working on my knee, learning how to walk. They took me walking around the whole hospital. I was all 'can we take a break I can't breathe!" says Celeste.
When asked how much work she's put into her therapy, Celeste says: "I would say 1,000%!"
"It takes a heck of a lot of work on a lot of people's parts and a lot of prayer," says Dr. Blewett.
A year after their horrifying ordeal, the Guajardo family is trying to return to life as normal. Celeste would be finishing up her seventh grade year with her classmates at Cavazos Junior High, but her passion for math must be cultivated at home now for fear that her injuries could be aggravated by simple schoolyard play. To Celeste's family though, it's better than the alterntive.
"Without her, I don't know where I'd be," says Selestino.
Celeste is still working to regain total movement in her right leg, but the change from a year ago is miraculous, in part because of the Children's Miracle Network.
"She's one of the miracle kids, so I'd like to thank them with all my heart," says Selestino.
"If you send money to Children's Miracle Network, thank y'all," says Celeste.