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.
Still, a hospital employee called her “a fighter.”
“Glori could not sleep for 3 days,” Hans Lee wrote in a Facebook post. “Her eyes were blood-shot red, but it seemed like she was afraid to go to sleep.
“My aunt who had a similar accident when she was in her teens told me that when she was in the hospital bed, she kept hearing the noise of the ambulance and paramedics. I bet Glori can hear the sounds of the [medical] helicopter and all the commotion of that dreadful day.
“But today Glori has been doing much better and started to sleep in longer intervals.
“Every day she looks different from the prior day,” her father added. “Her swelling is almost non-existent now -- only a fragment of memory of past. She is alert, but still [has] yet to recover her voice.
“Once Glori gains control of her tongue and mouth, she will be retaught how to swallow her food and advance to solid foods. This is what the hospital is looking for before she is cleared to be discharged.”
Sarah Lee and Glori were returning from morning prayer early Jan. 2 when their minivan drifted across the double-yellow line on Old Hook Road near Schraalenburgh Road and slammed head-on into an SUV.
The other driver, a 74-year-old Englewood man, was hospitalized with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.
Glori’s and her mother’s were much more severe.
The youngster will soon be transferred to the Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, Lee wrote Monday.
“We have had some hard nights,” he said. “When Glori was withdrawing from her medication, she was very active, and her movements were full of pain and suffering. Watching her struggle in pain was one of the hardest things as a parent or individual to watch.
“Holding her down so that she won’t do more harm, speaking gently in her ears, reminding her of the suffering Jesus suffered to save us seemed to calm her a little.
“I was assigned a “sitter” to help and look over Glori to make sure she does not harm herself. The sitter told me that she has seen this before and assured me that within 3 or 4 hours Glori will calm down or pass herself out.
“She was actively moving for 17 hours… non-stop. All the sitter said at the end of her shift was ‘This little girl is a fighter.’
“That she is.”
Doctors who suspected that Glori wouldn’t recall the accident were wrong, Lee said.
“Our communication is simple ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ Grab my hand when ‘Yes’ and let go if ‘No.” I asked Glori, ‘Do you remember what happened?’
“After a short pause she grabbed my hands ever softly and began to cry. I spoke to her softly and said “Glori, Daddy is so sorry your cross is so heavy.’ I cried beside her.
“Glori will need to relearn how to walk, talk, eat food, read a book and everything else in between,” Lee wrote. “From the accident, she also hurt the operative function of her brain that controls anger and patience, [according to] the neurologist.”
Sarah Lee has been recovering, as well, he said.
“We did, however, discover she has a fracture in her ankle,” Lee wrote. “So she will be in a removable cast shoe and use a walker for about 10 weeks until she is fully healed.
“She is planned to be discharged as early as Tuesday. Her final surgery is planned for sometime on Monday to close her stomach.”
“I cannot begin to imagine the emotional and developmental damage and strain this has on my other three children,” he added.
“I do my best to bring about normality to them,” Lee wrote, “but please pray that God will fill in all the gaps left behind this accident in my children’s lives, that this leap of absence does not hurt our other children, Kristyn, Daniel, and Dawid, that thru this they have more of a dependency on God and trust in Jesus.”
Lee deeply thanked the people who’ve supported and prayed for his family, as well as and including their lawyers, borough officials and the community.
“Norwood Pride has a completely new meaning to our family and to see the scripture of Good Samaritan personified is truly amazing,” he wrote. “Every nurse and doctor we see, I make sure to tell of the wonderful town we are a part of.”
He also cited several houses of worship -- Chodae Church, Pilgrim Church, Joy Church, Riverside Community Church, LGVC, Community Gospel Church, Love and Truth Church and the Korean Community Church, among them, the Father School Organization, “and so many more that I would not have enough space on this page to write all the names of Churches that are praying for us.
“God has heard your cries for mercy over our family, for my daughter, and wife.”
Lee also praised the organizers of a GoFundMe campaign, a Meal Train and various local fundraising.
He still doesn’t know what the family’s specific needs will be until Glori is discharged.
“But after conversations with Sarah, and with her current state it will most likely be in the form of rides for our children from and to school, as Sarah will not be able to drive for at least 10 weeks due to her cast,” Lee wrote. “Some minor support around the house(?).”
He asked anyone willing to help to reach out to him directly.
“I cannot express enough the awe-inspiring support you have shown us,” Lee added. “Even though most I do not know personally, I am blown away by your show of affection and love for us. Thank you. Thank you so much!”
CLICK HERE to read: Full FACEBOOK POST from Hans Lee
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