By Dave Schwab
The condition of Alani Aguerre, the 14-year-old who was the most seriously injured among three teens struck Aug. 15 by a car careening through a Bird Rock roundabout, is markedly improving.
But her father, Santiago, says it's going to be a long convalescence.
"It has been four weeks since it all happened and I am happy to say that Alani has been improving a lot in the last few days," he said. "Ceci (mother) and I have been at her bedside all the time. It has not been easy to see her pain and suffering, but we have consoled ourselves knowing that we still have her with us."
Aguerre said his family feels "very blessed to see her improvement thanks to the incredible staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital."
He said, after three weeks in the intensive care unit, six surgeries and many days of uncertain outcome, that his daughter was moved to a room in the post-intensive care area, signaling the beginning of her recovery.
"She has been getting better day after day and she is talking well, starting to sit up in bed and even smiling knowing that soon she will be home," Santiago said, adding doctors are now reducing the pain killers, sedatives, antibiotics and the other drugs she's been treated with to make it a comfortable readjustment for her.
"We have started physical therapy twice a day to get her to move her arms and legs again, she has even touched the floor with her feet while sitting at the side of the bed," he said. "We believe that if all goes well, in about a week or so, she can be out of the hospital going home, a place she really wants to go back to."
Santiago said Alani will not be able to walk for another six to eight weeks due to her pelvic breaks.
"So we will move her around on a wheelchair," he said. "We are going to help her get back to a normal life. This will include a lot of exercises and therapy that will bring her muscles and articulations to function properly again. It will be a long hard road to recovery, but we are ready and so is she."
Aguerre thanked all of those who have supported his daughter and family with their "warmth, thoughts and prayers" helping them all get through these difficult times.