DENVER -– The little girl who has been fighting for her life ever since a car crash on Christmas Eve is finally getting ready to go home from the hospital.
Charlee Shaw is just six years old. She has been at Children’s Hospital in Aurora since December 24 with a traumatic brain injury.
“I like to think of her as my big little miracle,” her father Brett Shaw told FOX31.
She was in the car with her mother Sancy when a suspected drunk and high driver hit them on Interstate 70 in Genesee. Sancy did not survive.
“When I first came in the night of the accident and saw [Charlee] I didn’t think we were ever going to be able to bring her home,” Brett said.
It took Charlee three days to breathe on her own and it took her ten days to sit up in a wheelchair. Since then, she has made progress toward milestone after milestone in her recovery.
“The biggest one really was her speaking,” Brett said. “She said ‘I love you’ and I cried. That was just a huge impactful moment for us.”
She is now speaking in full sentences and practicing engaging in conversation with others. Charlee is even walking again without help.
Her next milestone is one of the most significant.
“She’s progressing quickly enough that doctors have told us that she’s going to be able to go home next week,” Brett said.
He says he has two vehicles at the hospital ready to be filled with all of the stuffed animals, cards and gifts given to Charlee over the past two months.
Charlee says she is most looking forward to seeing her cat again. She will also continue her recovery with her dad and three older brothers.
“Being over-stimulated can affect her greatly. Loud noises,” Brett said.
Charlee will soon be returning to school on a part-time basis. She will arrive after the other children in the morning and leave just before lunch.
“Going from Christmas morning thinking I was never going to be able to take her home again to now we’re a few days away from being able to go home, I hope I don’t become a helicopter dad,” Brett said.
He says while her injuries and trauma will affect her long-term, the accident will not debilitate her.
“Charlee has had an incredible story and I think it’s just beginning. We’re very much excited about the future and hopeful to see what God is going to do with this precious little girl,” he said.
Brett has started a Facebook group called “Live Like Sancy. Fight Like Charlee!” The group is a place where anyone can share how the tragedy has changed their lives in a positive way.