On December 9, Aubree Kinney was in the car with her mother riding down Smokey Road in Newnan, Georgia, when their car was struck by an oncoming minivan, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The seven-year-old was seated behind the driver’s seat in a backless booster seat and sustained massive injuries.GoFundMe
As the Newnan Times-Herald reports, after the crash Aubree’s mother, Amber Hendrix, 34, turned to check on Aubree. Instantly she noticed the little girl’s blue lips. Hendrix performed CPR unsuccessfully until a passerby ran over to assist.
Aubree was medevaced to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. According to Hendrix, in total, Aubree went eight minutes without a pulse. The first-grader was deprived of oxygen for even longer, her mother said, according to the Times-Herald.GoFundMe
Hendrix told the publication her daughter’s spinal cord was bruised and swollen, she had a hematoma bleeding down her spine, and a collapsed lung. Aubree suffered brain damage, a broken neck, and damage to her organs.
Doctors reportedly informed the little girl’s family they are “99.9 percent sure” the little girl will be a quadriplegic, the Journal-Constitution reported. Hendrix told the Times-Herald they are waiting for Aubree to come out of sedation before deciding what to do next—or what to believe:
“Right now we are just kind of in a waiting game. Yesterday we were told she was going to be a quadriplegic and on a ventilator for the rest of her life. I’m not going to say that is completely true because I don’t believe it. We’re waiting on Aubree to quit swelling so she can wake up. They don’t have very much hope of that, but I do.”
Aubree’s ability to recover from her life-threatening injuries is compounded by the fact that the little girl didn’t have an easy start in life.GoFundMe
According to a GoFundMe account set up to help the family, Aubree suffered a stroke while she was still in her mother’s womb. Aubree began having seizures shortly after birth and was in NICU for the first six weeks of her life. She was required to have a feeding tube when she was finally released to go home.GoFundMe
Aubree was eventually diagnosed with panhypopituitarism, a lack of all pituitary hormones found in the pituitary gland, according to Cincinnati Children’s. As a result, Aubree’s body doesn’t produce three major hormones: growth, cortisol, and thyroid. The condition can cause premature osteoporosis and increased fractures, reports the Times-Herald.Aubree Strong/Facebook
According to the GoFundMe page, Aubree spent the first three years of her life in physical, occupational and speech therapy, trying to “get her to function as a normal person.” Now, due to the lack of an important hormone known as cortisol, her body will struggle to recover:
…her body cannot recover on its own.
According to the Times-Herald, Hendrix explained that despite daily medication and shots and trips to the doctors every three months to monitor her adrenal insufficiency, her body still is not as resilient as other children. The effect of Aubree’s condition further complicates her recovery.
Hendrix told the Times-Herald: “Aubree has gone through a lot in life and we have overcome all of it.”GoFundMe
Yet, though Aubree’s road to recovery might be twice as long, her family refuses to give up hope on their little girl.
As the mother-of-four told the ACJ: “[The doctors] are worst-case-scenario type people. I’m never going to give up. We just need a lot of prayer because God works miracles.”