AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — The 6-year-old girl who survived the crash that killed her mother on Christmas Eve was back in intensive care at Children’s Hospital in Aurora this week. Doctors found a blood clot in Charlee Shaw’s brain after a scheduled follow-up surgery.
Charlee had surgery on Wednesday morning to place a skull flap over a part of her skull that had to be removed to relieve pressure after the crash.
“As she was coming out of anesthesia, she was able to talk, and we played a little bit of thumb war with her right hand,” her father Brett Shaw told the Steamboat Pilot. “The trauma surgeon came in to see how she was doing and started to talk to her and try to get her to be responsive. She wasn’t very responsive other than crying, and her right leg and right arm were not working at all.”
Charlee was rushed back into surgery.
Brett Shaw posted an update in Charlee’s journal on the CaringBridge website at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday:
“Just talked to Dr Handler, it went as he hoped and they got the clot, and her vitals were good during surgery, they put her skull flap back in, and reinstalled the drain tube. They cleaned her up and she will be up on the PICU floor for the night! Please keep us in prayer that as she comes out of this [anesthesia], that everything works, although he feels there might be some setback in her recovery on her right side. It’s just a waiting game now. Handler said the got everything that the scanner could show, and that’s the best you can hope for. The bleeding seemed to be coming from an area they had to peel back the scalp to get to an area for the overlap. She woke up a few minutes ago and was moving a lot in her left side and not as much on her right, but we will see how things go through the night.”
On Thursday night, he posted a new update on Facebook:
“Long night last night, but today and tonight going much better. Charlee was somewhat active with both sides of her body today, although her right side is weaker at the moment. She was able to say, “Dad, I have to go to the bathroom,” which is huge, and she walked over there with assistance. She seems to be stable but we are all watching her like a hawk. We were able to move up to the 6th floor this afternoon, which means the Docs are pleased with her progress. Speech is generally a bit garbled right now, but we are praying to get back to where we were before we came in , and eventually full recovery. Those of you who know… know. Every tone that comes off the monitor or pump has a specific meaning, every reaction from a Doc or Nurse has weight to it. And you know when they hit the All Call button…. Stuff is about to get real…. praying for a peaceful uneventful night, and maybe some sleep. God is working!”
Charlee and her mother Sancy were traveling on Interstate 70 near Genesee on Christmas Eve when another driver drifted, crossed the median and crashed into their vehicle. Charlee was airlifted to Children’s Hospital with severe head injuries and a broken femur.
Sancy did not survive.
Colorado State police identified the driver who hit them as Cheri Goodard, 62, who also died in the crash. Troopers suspect that Goodard may have been under the influence of marijuana and alcohol.
Charlee was released from the hospital on Feb. 20, after spending nearly two months there.
The community in and near Steamboat Springs welcomed the Shaw family back with open arms and lots of love. Some stood on a bridge over Interstate 70 near the crash scene and waved and cheered for Charlee as she passed below them on her way home.
“We are going to continue to lift each other up and get through this together,” Brett Shaw said.