The mother of a U.S. Olympian from Burleson who was injured in a bus crash in Brazil said her daughter is showing marked improvement.
Stacy Sykora sustained a head injury last week in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Her Brazilian volleyball club team was headed to a tournament in a storm when the driver lost control and flipped the bus.
Sykora reportedly helped rescue a photographer who was riding with the team, pulling him from the wreckage before passing out. Doctors placed her in a medically induced coma to stabilize her and control her movements because her brain was starting to swell.
Her mother, Sherian Richards, provided updates on her daughter's condition in text messages Monday afternoon.
"The doctors are very optimistic, saying her improvement is far beyond what it normally is under the same circumstances," she said.
Richards, a Burleson High School teacher, is at her daughter's side in Brazil.
She said her daughter is walking, talking and eating solid food.
Sykora has a history of concussions, but Richards said she is pleased that her feisty, independent daughter is getting back to her old self. She said Sykora is fussing with the nurses and trying to do as much as she can on her own.
"There's still hills to climb, but Stacy is a stepper," Richards said. "She has made me very proud the last couple of days with all her accomplishments. Her sister and I are very relieved."
Sykora is one of the most decorated women in her sport. She is a 2008 Olympic silver medalist and the first woman ever to be inducted into Burleson High School's Sports Hall of Fame.
The 33-year-old was an All-American at Texas A&M and was playing in Brazil to stay competitive as she trains to try and make her four U.S. Olympic volleyball team.
Richards said she doesn't know how her daughter's injury could impact that goal.