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Alberta family reflects on girl’s recovery 1 year after devastating crash: ‘We call her our miracle’

Alberta girl thriving one year after horrific accident east of Edmonton
WATCH ABOVE: It's been just over a year since a young girl was hit by a vehicle near Holden, Alta. Her family didn't know if she would live or die at first but as Quinn Ohler reports, the girl is now thriving.

The mother of a young teenager hit by a pickup truck near Edmonton one year ago is calling her recovery “a miracle.”

In February 2016, Nevaeh Charette was walking along Highway 855 near Holden, Alta. when a truck struck her in the back of the head with its mirror. She suffered a spinal cord injury and was given a one per cent chance of survival.

“I remember leaving home because me and my mom had a petty argument,” Nevaeh told Global News, adding she was planning on hitchhiking.

She was about one kilometre outside of Holden when she was hit.

“I turned around,” she said as she describes the night of the crash. “Then it just kind of blurs and I don’t remember anything for about a week after that.”

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READ MORE: ‘The first night, I grieved the death of my daughter’: mother shares story of her daughter’s unlikely survival

One year later, not only is Nevaeh walking and speaking, but she’s gone back to school and is thriving.

“It makes you proud,” Nevaeh’s mom, Renee Charette, said.

Nevaeh’s mother added even when the doctors started to have hope, she wasn’t sure what her daughter would be like once she left the hospital, because of swelling in her brain.

“It was really, really hard,” she said. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I just kept going with the worst-case scenario.”

Since then, the now 13-year-old spent months in the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. She then moved to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital for a month where she learned to walk again. She improved quickly and was sent home.

Video of an Alberta girl standing up for the first time after suffering a spinal cord injury
Video of an Alberta girl standing up for the first time after suffering a spinal cord injury

WATCH ABOVE: Renee Charette captures the moments her daughter stood up for the first time after suffering a spinal cord injury. 

“It’s been very up and down,” the teenager said about her recovery, but added she never lost hope. “I always thought I was going to be OK because I’m a stubborn person and nothing affects me that bad.”

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She said she’s not scared of anything anymore because she’s been through it all now.

Renee said the family has received tremendous support from around the world, including through the power of prayer. It’s what she credits for her daughter’s remarkable recovery.

“I’m not a churchgoer but I’ve never seen that many people come together for one thing in my entire life, and that was my daughter,” she said.

Now, the mother of four is hoping her daughter and the rest of the family can get back to normal, adding through all of this, it’s helped her family become closer.

“(We want to) move past everything and start to forget about it as much as we can,” she said.

Nevaeh Charette met NHL superstars Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall. .
Nevaeh Charette met NHL superstars Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall. . Courtesy: Renee Charette
Nevaeh Charette going through physio while in the hospital. .
Nevaeh Charette going through physio while in the hospital. . Courtesy: Renee Charette
Nevaeh Charette recovers after being hit by a truck. .
Nevaeh Charette recovers after being hit by a truck. . Courtesy: Renee Charette