Rebekah Mejia (center) had two special visitors following her accident. Abigail and Tommy Lee Kidd came by to sign her up for Lawrenceburg’s Buddy League, a softball program for athletes with developmental disabilities. In this photo, bruising from Bekah’s broken nose is clearly visible.
Her siblings Bianca, 12, and Austin, 10, were at school in Summertown when Bekah and Gracie, 5, went outside "for two minutes" while their mom was fixing lunch.
"Gracie came in and said 'Call an ambulance, Bekah got hit.' All I could see were cars everywhere. I ran across the yard to the road, and someone helped me out of the ditch. I automatically picked her up, but there was a nurse there, who told me I needed to lay her down. We were all praying, and I was singing her favorite song in her ear."
Local residents may have seen Bekah sing "I Can Only Imagine" for a Channel 2 news team that visited her last week. She was also scheduled to perform the MercyMe song at St. Henry Catholic Church in Nashville last night at a World Down Syndrome Awareness Day event.
Bekah regained consciousness before she was loaded onto the helicopter bound for Vanderbilt. Her parents followed, and Joe said he now knows his truck odometer won't measure past 100 mph.
When they arrived, she was already undergoing tests that revealed the nature of her injuries. She had three skull fractures, three broken vertebrae in her lower back, and bruising and bleeding in her brain.
Doctors found, however, that her broken bones were still in perfect alignment and none would require setting, surgery braces, or casts. "They said everything would heal on its own," Teresa said.
By Thursday, Bekah was up and about and that evening, the family visiting the hospital's Ben & Jerry's for ice cream. Her neurosurgeon found them there to tell her she was "cleared" as she had been by other doctors throughout the day.
"The doctors were shocked and amazed" at her recovery, Teresa said. "God was with her through the whole thing."
Bekah will have many follow-up visits to Vanderbilt. Since one skull fractures were about her left ear, there's a possibility her hearing could be affected. She can't play outside for six weeks, and can only attend for half days, at first, when she starts 4th grade at Summertown. Doctors said her brain will heal more slowly if she concentrates on anything longer than 20 minutes at a time.
She has had many visitors since her return home. "She doesn't understand they're here for her," Teresa said. In fact, Bekah has no memory of the accident. "She thinks she went to get her ball and fell."
It's a bad way to meet your neighbors, but the accident has introduced the Parhans to this community. "We have had no incredible support from everyone," she said. Churches, Summertown Elementary, and individuals and organizations, including the local motorcycle club E.B.G.B.s, have all helped.