SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Teresa Johnston’s family celebrated her 14th birthday tonight.
They celebrated the milestone from her room in the critical care unit of O.C. Global Medical Center in Santa Ana
The celebration comes 12 days after a 60-foot tree fell on her as she walked a neighbor’s dogs in Irvine.”When you see that child next to death and unresponsive and then the spark of life comes back to them,” said her dad, Roch Johnston. “All things work out for the glory and honor of God and truly this is his gift to our family for her birthday.”
The family spoke to KCAL9’s Stacey Butler about Teresa’s recovery.
Her dad said she is still heavily sedated — her skull, eye sockets, face and jaw had numerous fractures.
But this week, for the first time, doctors say she’s taken an amazing turn for the better.
“She understands things, she’s able to wake up and follow commands that a big step,” said one of her doctors.
In a photo taken this evening, her father says you can see she is making eye contact with her big sister.
“On Monday she got clear recognition of family and friends.and [she was] able to move fingers and toes on command,” said her father.
“The abbot came down and blessed her and as soon as he did that she went to hug him and that was the most movement we’d seen,” her father added.
These images from tonight and earlier this week are a far cry from when she was brought to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.
Just last week, her family says they were making the sad decision to say goodbye.
The family is convinced that countless prayers flooding social media are bringing their daughter back.
Her family knows she is not yet out of the woods. Teresa will need another skull plate replacement surgery. Tomorrow, before that she will require a 6-hour facial reconstruction surgery.
Her family is asking for the public’s continued prayers.