The last thing Erica Edwards from Reno, Nevada expected was for something unthinkable to happen just outside her home on June 6, 2019. She never imagined that her family’s safety would be put in jeopardy-especially, not her 3-year-old daughter.

Shannon, Erica’s husband took their two daughters – 7-year-old Emma and 3-year Shaylie to the park while Erica decided to stay home and clean. Soon after they had left, however, Erica began hearing disturbing noises. She checked outdoors and was shocked by what she saw.

Her heart sank when she saw the car hit Shannon and Shaylie.

Erica said, “I ran out back, looked over my fence, and right in my vision was Shaylie on the road.”

Shannon was struck by the oncoming truck while trying to protect his daughter, resulting in seven fractures to his face. Shaylie was launched 40 feet and crashed to the ground, suffering from a broken mouth, neck, femur, and sacrum. She also suffered significant brain damage as a result of the accident.

After the accident, help arrived promptly and both my husband and daughter were taken to the hospital. They did numerous surgeries on Shannon, including facial reconstruction with titanium plates. Shaylie’s injuries were much more severe – doctors weren’t sure she would recover at all, let alone soon. But throughout it all, I managed to stay calm somehow.

She believes that God appeared to her during the storm. She stated, “It was a lot of just, ‘Stay calm, just stay calm. ’ It has to be a higher power, a God, a somebody who was just kind of grounding me for what was to come. If it wasn’t for that grounding, I wouldn’t have gotten through the last three years of fighting to get my baby back, because it has been a literal fight every single day.”

Shaylie didn’t seem to be making any progress at first. Dr. Kris Deeter, a pediatric intensivist said that the child was “completely unresponsive.” He saidd, “I could tell right away that we were dealing with a pretty severe brain injury.”

Shaylie opened her eyes two weeks after the doctors said she never would.

The doctor added, “When we started seeing that little twitch and that little smile come out, we all knew we were good. She’s a fighter.”

Her mom said, “Faith for me and my journey has been a number-one priority. To recognize that and follow it just makes things a lot easier on the day-to-day because this fight is real. I was a very spiritual person before this — I always believed in God, but I [wasn’t] much of a churchgoer, not much of a follow-the-Bible-to-the-book type of person.”

She continued, “But I’m a full believer now … God speaks to me all the time. And it was through this accident that this voice came to me. I’m going to have to continue to fight for her for years. I don’t know that it’ll ever stop. I hope that there’s a day, but I’m not sure. And my faith is what’s getting me through. It’s a beautiful thing.”

The motorist who hit the father and daughter was charged with two counts of careless driving. In addition, they received a $2,000 fine instead of jail time.