SPOKANE, Wash.-- A family in Spokane got ready to welcome home their 10-year-old girl Tuesday after she spent months in a Seattle hospital, following a tragic car accident.
The Evergreen Elementary student, Ayla James, 10, was critically injured in a car wreck in May. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle unconscious, where she spent the following eleven-weeks fighting for her life.
James was awake on Tuesday and gave her brother, Noah, a big hug as the family prepared to bring her home to Spokane.
READ: 10-year-old Evergreen Elem. student fights for life at Harborview
James was even feeling well enough to talk to KREM 2 News on the phone on Tuesday.
“Better and better like I'm almost brand new,” said James.
James spent the first part of her journey in the hospital asleep. She woke up with severe brain injuries.
“Ayla wasn't talking at all. And she woke up one morning and was talking in full sentences,” said James’ mom.
James went through physical and speech therapy. She was walking and communicating on her own in mid-July.
The community raised more than $31,000 to help with the James’ living and medical expenses.
"We are overwhelmed by the response. There has been one fundraiser after another. We really feel like we've been carried through this by our community and there are no words that could ever be justice to explain how loved we feel,” said James’ mom.
While James was fighting for her life in Seattle, friends and family in Spokane mourned the loss of her soccer teammate. Gracie E. Snider, 10, was killed in the crash.
James' father was driving in May when the car crashed into the back of a semi. Washington State Patrol was still investigating the wreck in July.