IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — A 13-year-old Irvine girl, who remained in an induced coma after being crushed by a large tree during last week’s massive rainstorm, underwent surgery Monday afternoon to relieve swelling in her brain.
Teresa Johnston left her home to walk dogs around 5 p.m. Friday when a 60-foot-tall pine tree near Dewberry and Sandburg ways fell on her.
“A neighbor saw the tree fall on her or heard it and looked outside and saw her laying there. She brought a pillow for her, a blanket and held an umbrella over her until an ambulance and police showed up,” said the victim’s father Roch Johnston. “We’re praying for a miracle.”
“Looks like a very long journey before we’ll have her home,” said Teresa’s mother Vera Johnston.
With family by her side, the teen remained in ICU at Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana.
The girl’s parents told CBS2’s Stacey Butler that the impact of the fallen tree fractured parts of her spine, her face and her skull in so many places, doctors were not able to determine exactly how severe her injuries were.
The teen could be blind or have brain damage if she wakes up from her induced coma.
“The worst case scenario is a brain stem stroke. He said if that happens, she won’t wake up,” Mr. Johnston explained as tears rolled down his face.
As word of Teresa’s story spreads on social media, so does support for her and her family. Many gathered in Irvine to pray Sunday night.
Well-wishers have been posting their prayers online and donating money to a Youcaring.com account to help pay for Teresa’s medical expenses.
“Mother Theresa said to storm heaven with prayers, and people all over the world that we’ve never met, they’re praying for our little girl,” Mr. Johnston said.
Given what the Johnstons have been going through, they still have faith and still see the good in people.
“We’re so touched by all this support and prayers,” said Mrs. Johnston. “It’s tragic. It’s very tragic. But so much good has been coming out of it. It’s touching. It’s overwhelming. And people are giving. There’s so good out there in this world. Just keep praying that she heals, that it’s fast, that it’s really full recovery for our Teresa, that she could be again our Teresa as we know her.”