Wake Forest teen fights severe brain injuries after head-on collision

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Teen fights severe brain injuries after head-on crash
Teen fights severe brain injuries after head-on crash

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A mother's faith in her child is helping her through a trying ordeal.

Susan Coleman has been living at WakeMed Hospital. Her 18-year-old daughter Makayla is receiving care for severe brain injuries after a head-on collision.

"I pray that God does miracles. It's frightening," Coleman says. "I have to keep the faith."

Makayla is essentially decapitated internally. The base of her skull is disconnected from her spinal cord. Some nerves may be still attached.

"She also has brain sheering which is another major brain injury, so it's two horrific things," Coleman says.

The family was initially told the teen wouldn't survive, but within the last 48 hours, the family has seen signs of progress. Makayla has opened her eyes and is responding to some commands.

"She's a strong fighter and she obviously doesn't want to give up," Coleman says.

Makayla was hurt the day after Christmas.

She was home on break from Western Carolina University and hanging out with friends when the car she was in crashed on NC-96.

Two other people were killed including her 21-year-old friend, who was driving.

Relatives started a gofundme page to help Coleman with the stresses of such a battle. She was having financial problems of her own before the accident and had been renting rooms from different friends.

"I didn't want to use all my money to get an apartment because I wanted Makayla to have some gifts for Christmas,"Coleman says.

Now the only gift she is hoping for is her daughter's recovery.

"I want the outcome to be good. I don't want Makayla to have no kind of quality of life," Coleman says. "I'm trying to stay on the positive and look at things with faith and hope, and be thankful she's come this far with this unbelievable horrific accident. She's strong. She's a fighter."