Girl critically injured, defying odds in recovery

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The family of a little girl critically injured in a car crash is speaking out for the first time Monday.

Briana Hudson was riding in her family's car when it was hit head-on by teenagers driving their father's Corvette. Both teens were killed. Briana was 4 years old at the time.

Hudson's heart stopped at one point and she had serious injuries to her brain and spinal cord. The little girl was not expected to walk again.

Monday, the family told Channel 2's Diana Davis that Briana has made remarkable progress.

Her mother, Denise Robins Hudson, told Davis it was difficult to watch her daughter so hopeless in the ICU.

"She was just hooked up to all the machines and just lying there," Robins Hudson said.

Doctors said the once active little girl would probably never be able to walk.

Briana's grandmother said the family vowed to do all they could.

"It was like, 'Oh no. She's going to walk again. We have faith,'" Margie Robins said.

They had to dig deep to hold on to that faith. Briana's condition was critical.

"Briana couldn't even hold her head up. She was just very limp," Robins Hudson said.

From Children's Healthcare of Atlanta she traveled to a rehab hospital in Maryland.

Now, back home she gets 10 hours of rehab each week at a Gwinnett County therapy center.

The little girl who at one point could not sit up by herself, or even hold her head up, now can.

With splints, braces, and other support, Briana is rebuilding her upper body strength and slowly toning and rebuilding her legs.

Just last week her physical therapist said Briana was able to pick up one leg and move it forward.

"As we see those changes, that means there's healing going on in the spinal cord. And that's now potential to have active movement," said Noreen Scott, the owner of Tender Ones Therapy Services in Dacula.

Briana's family and therapists have never given up, and they said neither has Briana.

"Just seeing Briana say, 'God is making me well,'" Robins Hudson said, choking back tears.

Briana's family told Davis they have reached out to the family of Tripp Halstead, the Barrow County boy critically injured at a day care when a tree limb fell on him.

Though the cases are different, Briana's family told Davis it thought that it was important for Tripp's family to meet Briana.

"We reached out to Stacy Halstead and took Briana by just to show them there is hope with a brain injury," Robins Hudson told Davis.

Medical experts said it is impossible to know how far Briana will progress, but every single step she takes is a victory.



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