September 18, 2017 11:59 AM
A year ago, KSTP introduced you to 11-year-old Amber Rose Kordiak, the Hinckley girl who suffered a nearly fatal farm accident in July 2013 when a 600-pound tractor tire fell on top of her, the rim slicing through her face.
After countless surgeries, recovery continues, with the focus now on the injury you can't see: the injury to Amber's brain.
If you want to get Amber Rose talking, ask about all her pets.
The cats, the dog, the ducks, chickens or horses.
"She definitely has a big heart for animals, the animals don't judge you," said her mother, Jen Kordiak.
Life for Amber Rose is now starting to get back on track.
Since the farm accident four years ago, Amber Rose has had 16 surgeries. In the past year she's had an eye lift, doctors have needled the scar crossing her face in an attempt to make it fade, and the trachea in her throat was removed.
"I can swim underwater now," Amber Rose said with a big grin.
But recovery isn't over, with the focus now on her brain injury.
"The brain injury is probably the hardest right now because it's going to stay with her the rest of her life," Jen Kordiak said.
For the first time since the accident Amber Rose is now attending public school, although with it comes challenge.
"My head hurts when I am active," she said. "It feels like there's something pounding."
Fortunately, her teachers understand her injury and have made special accommodations.
"They made a little secret spot for me to go into and just lay down," she said.
"She doesn't know how much is too much because she's always pushing herself, she just wants to be like everybody else," her mother adds.
This week, after all she's been through, this strong, spunky girl will be honored by the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance.
"It's just a light in the darkness for us," Jen Kordiak said.
It's an opportunity for the community to Rise With Amber Rose, and raise awareness for those suffering an often misunderstood injury.
"There's got to be a reason for her resilience through this, and I know she'll do great things for anyone that needs her strength," Jen Kordiak said.
The Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Walk for Thought event takes place at four locations around the state Saturday, Sept. 23.
You can join Amber's team, Rise With Amber Rose, or donate to help all those suffering from brain injuries.
Updated: September 18, 2017 11:59 AM
Created: September 17, 2017 09:08 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company