March 08, 2018 10:24 PM
A 14-year-old girl hurt in a car accident in July returned home over the weekend.
It's tough to be an older sister in a big family. For Amarya Ward-West, she has cousins constantly trying to borrow her things and a younger brother who can't leave her alone.
"This house is full of people," said Tracie Ward, Amarya's aunt.
After spending the last three months in the hospital, Amarya says she welcomes the noise and chaos.
"It's boring in there," she said. "I have a lot of family so it's usually not boring in the house."
Early in the morning on July 1, investigators found Amarya and her younger brother Almond hurt, helpless and alone inside a wrecked van in St. Paul.
Police say the siblings' father, Earl Lionell Ward, was the driver. He's accused of crashing the van into a missing section of pavement and running from the accident before authorities arrived.
Doctors told Amarya she was paralyzed from the neck down but she's already regained movement in her arms.
"I know they're supposed to not tell you that you will get better, but they always say never. I don't like that word," she said about her initial diagnosis.
Amarya has also figured out how to send texts using her knuckles and how to speak with a trach.
"You have to take really big breaths and then talk," she said. "If you take small breaths, it takes forever for you to say something."
It's a new way of living, but Amarya still bickers with her brother and battles her mom like any other teenager. For this family, some things will never change.
"I'm the same person," she said. I'm not deaf, I can see, I can smell, I can talk. Just a little different."
Amarya's 8-year-old brother, Almond, is on the road to a full recovery.
He's still using crutches, but his family says he's healing quickly from the injuries he got in that accident.
The family is working to renovate Amarya's home to allow her to get around in a wheelchair.
You can donate at any US Bank or visit her funding website.
Updated: March 08, 2018 10:24 PM
Created: October 11, 2014 06:10 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company