UPDATE: An 8-year-old Norwood girl critically injured in a head-on crash in Harrington Park earlier this month is on what her father called a “miracle pace.” Glori Lee continues to experience intense pain, however – and, perhaps as heartbreaking, remembers the crash.
PREVIOUS STORY: An 8-year-old Norwood girl critically injured in a head-on crash in Harrington Park early Wednesday has a chance to survive but with severe damage throughout her head and body, her father wrote in an emotional social media post Saturday morning.
His wife, Sarah, meanwhile, was “fully responsive and on her way to recovery,” Hans Lee wrote.
Their daughter’s injuries were “more severe and dire,” he said, adding that she’d been through 12 hours combined of surgeries.
Mother and daughter were on their way home from morning prayer when Lee said Sarah called him just before 7 a.m.
“Sarah said she got into a car accident and she is hurt bad. Please come to Old Hook Rd by Schraalenburgh Rd,” he wrote in a public Facebook post seeking prayers. “I was on my way for an interview, but I turned around and arrived.
“On my way I saw already ambulances and my heart started to sink. When I arrived, Sarah’s car had crossed the double yellow line and hit a SUV head on.”
AirMed One flew Glori to Hackensack University Medical Center. Lee said he rode with his wife in an ambulance.
The other driver, a 74-year-old Englewood man, was also hospitalized with what authorities said turned out to be relatively minor injuries.
Sarah Lee, 34, had intestinal damage and small bleeding in her brain, although “the neurologist stated that it is not a life or death [situation],” her husband said.
“Sarah has been in 3 surgeries and will need one final to close her stomach,” he wrote. “Her stomach has been open for 3 days and counting because the doctors want to make sure there is no other injuries before they close her up.”
Lee described injuries to his daughter that can be considered unfathomable (CAUTION: The description is graphic):
“She has a shattered skull (right frontal lobe), shattered bone in her right eye orbit, broken nose, shattered L3 and L2, blood clogs in her spine both lower and mid-upper, punctures in her small intestines, swelling of her brain from impact and God willing nothing else.
“The neuro-surgeons had to shave her head and make an incision from one ear to her other to remove her front skull to 1). Allow the swelling to expand without pressuring her brain stem and 2). Remove the broken fragments from hurting/damaging her brain further.
“They have also remove[d] part of her face as it has been shattered.
“The surgery to her back was a heavy one as it related to motor skills. If the blood clogs pressed on the nerves, there was a high chance that the motor functions will be damaged.
“[T]he doctors almost assumed that there was damage and small chances of motor functions. They needed to open and remove part of her spine to remove the clogs and see if there would be any more damage to the nerves.
“Last surgery was on her punctured small intestine and internal bleeding. This was very straightforward and the surgery took the least amount of time.”
Gloir “has titanium rodes and screws on her L4 to L2 lower spine and a monitor in her brain to measure her pressure from the brain swelling,” Lee said. “The doctors noted that if the pressure is over 20 for 5 minutes or more, she may have damage to core functions like breathing, sleeping, and using the bathroom as the brain stem can be damaged from the pressure.”
The positive news, he said, came when “doctors told me that Glori is showing motor reflexes that may relate to her nerves not being damaged and was responding to stimuli.”
The brain pressure increased Saturday morning, Lee said.
However, he added that doctors told him “the swelling should subside by Monday and we will get our first chance to see the extent of the damage.”
So, Lee said, he “left Glori to the care of the nurses and went to check up on my wife.”
“The nurses tried to work their way to removing the supportive breathing machine, to allow Sarah to breathe for herself,” he wrote, “but her stomach pain did not allow her to be fully independent and she will have to wait till tomorrow.”
Lee thanked people for “showing our family compassion, love, support and fervent prayers -- especially our neighbors in Norwood, our Norwood Public school facility and student body parents, who have shown an overwhelming amount of support to our family while I am away attending my wife and daughter.”
To everyone else, he said, “your fervent prayers are the strength I rely on each minute and each trying moment."
“To say that I am emotionally bankrupt will be a strong understatement,” Lee wrote. “I find strength and stand firm for those who can’t because of your heart felt prayers and fasting and every moment you think of us.”
CLICK HERE to see: The full version of Hans Lee’s post
Lee asked that everyone who believes to continue praying for his wife and daughter.
“[I]f you do not believe prayer is helping, I challenge you to continue to keep watch over our family as each moment is a miracle from God, because He hears His children.
“Please pray for Sarah that she will not blame God or lose hope in all this. I can totally understand and do not blame her if she did, but that God would comfort her and give her peace,” Lee wrote. “I can’t imagine what she is going thru and the guilt she feels for Glori.
“Please pray for Glori. Her road to recovery will be long and hard. Please pray that God will be with her every step of the way. Also keep praying for her brain pressure,” Lee added.
“Once the tubes are out and Sarah has her voice back, I am planning to update everyone again with Sarah’s testimony and perspective of what happened,” he said.
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