CMN Miracle: Kolbi Ramos loses family but stays strong

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:13 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Three people were killed and two others were injured in a terrible crash south of Abilene about a year ago. Kolbi Ramos was the most severely injured and the most unlikely miracle.

It was near the small town of Winters on Highway 153, about 45 minutes south of Abilene. Someone’s attempt to pass a car left a Plainview family crushed in a head-on collision with their car on fire.

The injury for Kolbi Ramos was unthinkable. She was airlifted to University Medical Center for what turned out to be a 13-hour surgery.

She lost about 25 percent of her brain. Dr. Kami Rogers, a Pediatric Intensivist says “Scalp, muscle and tissue were completely cut away from the scalp itself to let the brain swell.”

Michael Ramos, Kolbi’s dad, said, “I saw my baby girl but I didn’t. Her head was so swollen. I felt like if her eyes were just stretched anymore, she would have busted.”

Kolbi was in a coma for three weeks. When she finally woke up, her dad says she kept asking, “Where’s Mom?”

Kolbi’s mom, a sister and a niece all died in that crash. Kolbi was airlifted to UMC for that complicated surgery that saved her life.

Along with losing a portion of her brain, Kolbi has had to relearn to walk and talk and still faces other complications. She has a rod in her leg. She can’t move her right hand. She lost her left eye.

But the 13-year-old says she is comforted by wearing a necklace with her mother’s thumbprint on one side and Cissy DeLeon, her mother’s name, on the back.

Kolbi says she is inspired by the support of her friends and the doctors and nurses and therapists who have become part of the family.

She told me, “I just really want to say thank you to all the doctors and nurses at UMC that helped me because I know that I’m only where I’m at because of y’all.”

When I told Kolbi, “You know they love you.” She answered with a grin, “Well, they better love me.”

Going to Plainview, I did not know how to cover such a tragic story.

Immediately, Kolbi made me feel welcome in her home. She is fun and sassy and it doesn’t take long to realize that her personality was not injured by the crash.

She and her dad both wear shirts that say Kolbi Strong because she is perhaps stronger than ever.

She told me, “I’ve adapted to being like this already.”

Michael also told me, “I mean, she ran with it like no crying, no breakdowns. This is who I am. This is what I was dealt.”

When I asked her what it feels like to be a CMN Miracle child, she said she likes to remind her dad. She says, “I’m always like, dang, dad. I’m a miracle child. And he’ll look at me and be like, ‘yeah, you are sweetheart,’ and I’ll be like, ‘yes, I sure am!’”

She did admit that sometimes she is angry to think that a drunk driver changed her family forever but she says she is good with who she is now.

Kolbi faces a long road ahead with more surgeries to replace the flap in her skull and reshape her head but she says she is happy to be at home with her dad and grateful to UMC and CMN for believing in her.

She also told me she wants every donor to know this, “Every kid that you help, I’m sure they would really love to tell you thank you. So I’m just gonna say it on behalf of all kids kinda like me. Thank you so much for donating and wanting to help us. We really appreciate everything that you are doing.”