LOWER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - Two months ago, a Northampton County girl was in a coma, fighting for her life after she was injured by a falling tree at the Knoebels Amusement Resort's campground.
Now, 11-year-old Caitlyn Keeny is proving just how resilient she can be, with reading to her sister's preschool class representing a monumental new chapter in her life.
"It was huge. She doesn't appreciate how much of a step that is," said Jenny Canning, Caitlyn's mom.
Less than a month ago, Caitlyn couldn't read at all. She had just awoken from a coma.
While camping at Knobles with her dad's family in August, a 40-foot tree limb crashed on her, her father, Scott, little sister Grace, and brother Ryan. All were injured, but it was Caitlyn who had to fight to survive.
"I spent time wondering, you know, what am I going to do without her," Canning said.
Caitlyn did wake up, but Canning said that came with a new set of worries. Would Caitlyn still be Caitlyn?
Support flooded in. Cards and drawings from across the country decorated Caitlyn's room at Good Shepherd.
"I like this one. I think it's really pretty. All the drawings and stuff," Caitlyn said. "Very surprised, because I didn't expected people to know who I am."
Caitlyn suffered a severe brain injury. During physical therapy, she showed therapist Beth Sensing exactly what she's made of.
"When people at PT tell me to stand on one foot for 20 seconds, I'm like OK. As soon as I get back to my room that's what I try to do."
"I have a really positive outlook for Caitlyn. She is going to make a fantastic recovery," Sensing said.
Caitlyn made it home in a month, not the six months many thought it might be, but the healing for Caitlyn isn't over. She still has some trouble with memories, but Canning said just having her home is enough for now.
"If you asked me is there something amazing I would want. Nothing, because this outweighs everything," Canning said.
Back at the preschool, she received a special singing goodbye. It's easy to think many more thank yous are in Caitlyn's future.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News