Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter
The Nevil family was visiting Arlington, where they once lived, last Thanksgiving when a car crash killed mom Katy and left 11-year-old Lauren critically injured. Lauren Nevil is now making a recovery few expected, even doctors.
By many standards, the Nevil family had the perfect life: a 14-year-long marriage between Steve and Katy Nevil that produced two healthy children.
“We went to church, we volunteered in the community – we did everything right,” said Steve Nevil.
Then, on a family road trip to their former hometown of Arlington, their SUV was hit by a suspected drunk driver.
Steve Nevil’s wife, Arlington native Katy Nevil, was killed in the wreck. Their 11-year-old daughter Lauren was left in critical condition.
“We go to our day to day controlling life and doing the things we know how to do and working hard to provide for our family and raise our kids right and all of a sudden it changes and you're out of control,” said Nevil.
Steve and his son walked away from the wreck, still it has been a struggle for the family.
Until this week, Lauren had remained hospitalized.
“The things they said were probable and the things she would be like and how much brain damage had occurred in her - possible never walk again, possible never eat again, possible never go to the restroom on her own again,” said Steve.
Lauren suffered extensive injuries – a broken femur, three broken ribs, a collapsed lung, four severed toes and traumatic brain injury that led to the removal of a portion of her skull.
“It's been a very long, rough, rough five and a half months.”
Monday Lauren began rehabilitation at an outpatient clinic, which has allowed her to be home with her father and brother for the first time since the wreck.
This weekend Lauren threw out the first pitch at her brother's little league baseball game in Arlington.
“To see her physically walk and throw the baseball just blew me away,” said Steve Nevil. “And to see her throw it to her brother, I thought was awesome and I was just ecstatic.”
Nevil said even the doctors are surprised by Lauren’s progress.
"They're basically calling her mini-miracle," Steve Nevil said.
While there are still challenges ahead -- relearning social and cognitive skills -- considering how far the Nevils have come, perhaps nothing is impossible.
“Our ultimate goal is full recovery, minus four toes. That's my little acronym that I use on my post that I type on our website on Facebook. That's our ultimate goal for her to get as close to full recovery - cognitively and physically as possible,” said Steve Nevil.