One year after Thanksgiving crash, teen making tremendous progress

Caleb James
November 23, 2017 07:01 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- On Thanksgiving 2016, Vanessa Mendoza was excited about pretty much everything. The 17-year-old Albuquerque High cheerleader wanted to be a model with sights on New York.


But those plans changed in a moment. Another driver slammed into Mendoza’s car that morning. She broke every bone in her body. The brain damage was so bad, she was in a coma. Doctors told her mother, Yesenia Mendoza, it was over.

“When she was in a coma they told me she wasn't going to make it. She woke up,” she said. “They told me she wasn't going to move. She's moving her right arm.”

But this girl who can't stop giving kisses is no pushover. In only a year, she's talking again. She’s still making plans.

“I want to walk,” she said.

“Vanessa is Vanessa,” Yesenia Mendoza said. “Vanessa loves the attention. She's a happy person. She's bright. She knows what she wants and she's picky.”

With the improvements she's shown, the family is desperately saving money to move Vanessa and her brothers and sisters to Denver where she can receive advanced treatment that could get her back on her feet. To help, click here.


Caleb James

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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