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I'm Alexa, and this is my story

I'm Alexa, and this is my story

On December 26, 2018, my family and I were traveling back to our home in Forney, Texas, after spending Christmas with my extended family. About halfway into our trip, we were on a two-lane highway when a van came into our lane and hit our SUV head-on. Immediately on impact, my mom and dad died.

I know the phrase is cliché, but my whole life literally flashed before my eyes. Everything was in slow motion. Then I realized we were rolling. I saw debris, glass, the sky, the earth and then everything stopped. I was conscious the entire time and when I processed what had happened, I started yelling as loud as I could for help.

I was the only person conscious after we stopped rolling and I realized the car was on its side in the ditch. My mom's passenger window had shattered and I could see the road at eye level. A man named Steven Loveless witnessed the crash. He came to my mom's window as I was yelling for help. He stayed with me the entire time, talking to me and helping reposition my broken arms to be more comfortable.

Eventually, I was taken out of the car and put into the backseat of a truck. Steven put jackets and blankets on me to keep me warm and then he prayed with me. After about 30 minutes, I was put in an ambulance and taken to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, Texas.

I was notified that my 14-year-old sister, Olivia, was still alive, but I was unaware of her condition. I was in Abilene for about 7 hours before an ambulance transported me to where my sister was, Cook Children's Medical Center.

I arrived around midnight and was immediately assessed. My injuries consisted of a broken right humerus, fractured left radius (which now has one plate and nine screws), two pelvic fractures, cuts, major bruises, and lesions and abrasions from the seatbelt.

My doctors and nurses were absolutely amazing. They were always positive, happy, excited, patient, understanding and very comforting. Dr. Mayfield, who operated on my left wrist, was so amazing and explained everything so thoroughly. My Child Life specialist, Katie Travelstead, felt like family to me. She did everything she could to make me happy, comfortable and beyond!

Sadly, my sister was in a coma and she was not going to wake up, but we all still had hope. Katie came up with heartfelt projects we could do before I left the medical center or before Olivia passed away.

We made a painting of an angel together. The Child Life specialists got a blank canvas, painted one of my feet with gold paint to represent a body and painted each of Olivia's hands with gold paint to represent wings. We also made two identical white Build-A-Bear® stuffed bears. While Olivia had one in her room, I had one in my room and it was almost like we were connected.

Most of all, I am so impressed with the patience of every single staff person. On a daily basis, there were probably more than 30 family and friends split between me and my sister. Usually only three to four were allowed to see the patient at one time, but sometimes, there were 10 or 15 people in my room.

During my stay, Steven came to see me! My Nana and I meet him and his family at least once a month. I am so grateful God put him there at the exact time and place to help me through this life-long journey.

My whole family was just so impressed! I absolutely love Cook Children's and every time I get to go I get so excited. Cook Children's did so much for me, my sister, and my family and I am forever grateful!

Alexa was only 15 years old when she endured one of life's greatest tragedies, and managed to come out a stronger person. She is a joyful, gracious teenager who chooses to see the good in the world.

Alexa serves as a Patient Ambassador, sharing a beautiful story about the care she and her sister received, in an effort to help raise awareness and funds for Cook Children's. Her eyes shine the brightest when she talks about her family. We are humbled to be a part of this amazing young woman's story and honored to have cared for her sister, Olivia.

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