Mom, daughter begin recovery after accident

December 27, 2011 3:00:08 PM PST
It was a horrific accident and one that few people survive. A pickup truck hit a young mother and her toddler on a busy Durham street on Nov. 21.

They've spent their holiday season at Duke Medical Center, suffering from broken bones, spine and head injuries.

Twenty-five-year-old Davonna Wilkins and her toddler, Shanelle where struck when a pickup truck couldn't stop in enough time before hitting them both on South Alston Avenue in Durham.

Moments before the accident, Wilkins was walking with her twin daughters when one of them bolted out into the road. Like any mother wanting to protect her child, Wilkins followed.

"I don't even remember the day," said Wilkins. "And I guess I'm glad because I wouldn't want to."

The accident was more than a month ago. Now, little Shanelle is like any other energetic 3-year-old except her spine is broken. Doctors say she may never walk again.

"Right now, she really doesn't move her legs that much but she does move her feet every now and then," said Wilkins. "I remain optimistic. I believe she is going to walk one day."

Eyewitnesses say Shanelle was dragged under the truck.

Along with collapsed lungs, both mom and daughter are recovering from head injuries that have left them with memory loss.

Shanelle only recently awoke from a medically induced coma. Then, just this week, she remembered she has an identical twin sister.

"Just looking at her because just seeing her getting better every day makes me think, 'well, I need to get better.'"

Like her daughter, Wilkins also uses a wheelchair.

"I broke my leg in five different places," said Wilkins.

The holiday season has been more challenging than cheerful.

"I spent Christmas right here with Shanelle," said Wilkins.

She was right next to the daughter she nearly risked her life to save. She's grateful they've lived to see another day.

Doctors say Shanelle could go home and be reunited with her twin sister as early as next month. The toddler will start physical therapy. But, she'll likely endure months of grueling physical therapy.

Her family has set up a special fund to help with her expenses. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch under the name Shanelle Biddle.

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