Although most of our days feel like a repeat of many others, our lives are always capable of changing in an instant. This is what happened to a family on April 7, 2018, when a family of seven was traveling near Sterling City, Texas, when they became involved in a deadly head-on collision. Parents, Karisa and Jim, as well as their two-month-old daughter Juliana, were killed. As for their other children, Wyatt, Zachery, Nicolas, and Angela, they survived but sustained serious injuries. The three oldest children were taken to Fort Worth hospital, where they would begin their very long road to recovery.
Eight-year-old Angela suffered extreme head trauma, which left the little girl in a coma for a week. The crash also broke both of her legs. Zachary, 5, suffered broken back as well as many internal injuries, Wyatt, 4, had several strokes and at first, was left partially paralyzed on the left side of his body. Thankfully, their youngest sibling, Nicholas, 2, received treatment for his injuries and was released in just a couple of days to his aunt. During their recovery, each child would experience many highs and lows. When Angela finally awaken, Teresa Burrell, her great aunt told TODAY, the first person the little girl asked for was her brother.
“So we knew she had remembrance of her family,” Burrell said. “It’s really hard with brain damage to know where you’re headed. But we are very hopeful from where we were a couple of weeks ago.”
Throughout the darkness of their situation, there was a moment in which the surviving children experienced a ray of hope — the day they were reunited for the first time following the fatal crash.
“It was what they really needed,” Burrell said. “They just are grieving and were comforting each other.”
As Zachary recovered, the young boy showed signs of depression, to help keep his spirits up, the hospital decided to throw him an icecream party, with his big sister Angela and little brother Wyatt in attendance.
Soon, days became weeks, and the siblings continued on their road to recovery, which was made a bit easier thanks to a fundraiser, which managed to raise almost $300,000 toward their care.
“So many good people, from all different kinds of faiths, have united their prayers on behalf of these children, and we’ve felt it,” Burrell said. “We felt it as a family and we’ve definitely seen it in these children. We’ve just seen it. It’s just been a miracle and it’s been amazing.”
According to PEOPLE, the kids now live with their grandmother, Susan Skillicorn, and her husband. Burrell noted that while the family wasn’t sure how Angela’s brain damage would affect the rest of her life, she and her siblings started their first day at their new school together.
“We were visiting, I want to say a month and a half or so ago … they were running around but trying not to run around,” Burrell told PEOPLE. “There was just lots of laughter and lots of happiness. There’s also sad moments of course, they miss their parents, they’re gonna need to have counseling — but their future looks bright, they’re doing as well as can be as expected.”
God bless these children and all of the wonderful people who came to their aid during their darkest hour. You can watch a news report on this heartbreaking story in the video below.