A 14-year-old Irvine girl who was seriously injured when a tree fell on her during a powerful wind and rain storm in February walked out of an Orange hospital Friday in a miraculous turnaround from what were initially thought to be potentially grave injuries.
Teresa Johnston was greeted with cheers, balloons and banners of support as she walked slowly out of Healthbridge Children’s Hospital.
“Hello, and thank you for everything,” she told the crowd with a smile as she emerged from the facility.
Teresa was taking advantage of a break in the storm in February and was walking her elderly neighbor’s dogs near Dewberry and Sandburg when the wind kicked up again, toppling a 50-foot tree that fell on her, leaving her with severe head injuries.
Fire officials called her injuries life-threatening. Family members said that early on, they didn’t know if she would survive.
She underwent hours of surgery, and she eventually emerged from a coma, opened her eyes and gradually began to recover. She turned 14 while in the hospital.
“I can’t put it in words,” her father, Roch Johnston, said. “We are so grateful for all the prayers and support.”
A big crowd of well-wishers are outside this hospital in Orange County waiting for Teresa Johnston. A tree fell on her during storms in Feb. pic.twitter.com/DMHP9CBNUw
— Kris Ankarlo (@KrisAnkarlo) April 7, 2017
Teresa still has multiple surgeries ahead, and plenty of rehabilitation work, but Friday was still a celebratory occasion, marking a day that many weren’t sure would ever come.
“When I saw her in the beginning, I was really, really scared,” her friend Marie Marchand told CBS2. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know if she was ever going to recover completely.”
A crowdfunding site raised more than $166,000 for her care.
— City News Service
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