2-year-old still in ICU nearly a week after icy road accident - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

2-year-old still in ICU nearly a week after icy road accident

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The winter weather we saw last week brought treacherous driving conditions, with all the snow and ice.

We reported on wrecks across the Tennessee Valley, some of which turned out to be fatal.    

One Cleveland family had their lives spared after sliding off the road on South lee highway, but the road to recovery is far from over.

"I didn't think they were that bad. There wasn't much snow on the road; it was more or less on the grass. So I was doing the speed limit," said Katelynn Barkley. "I wasn't far from daycare, only a few minutes, but I must have hit black ice because I felt my tires slide. I went down a hill and ran into a tree."

All Barkley heard was silence, with her 2-year-old little girl named Katie in the back seat strapped in her car seat.

"I just kind of twisted as much as I could to see her. She didn't make a sound. She had her head down and eyes closed, she wasn't moving and she didn't look like she was breathing," said Barkley. "When I saw her not breathing, I thought she died."

Eventually ambulances came and took both mom and daughter to the hospital.

Barkley only suffered a shattered heel, but that wasn't the case for the toddler.
   
"That she had probably sustained brain injury, that they didn't know if her spinal cord was intact. That she had hit her head and they were going to have to do immediate surgery on blood clots that were between her brain and skull," said Glyndora Condon, Grandmother.

Now, nearly a week later,  Katie is in stable condition after multiple surgeries, however her road to recovery is far from over; relying on a breathing machine and feeding tube, and possible paralysis still isn't off the table.

"During her lifetime, her whole lifetime, she may have to be with feeding tubes, we don't know," said Condon.
   
Barkley says the medical bills are piling up as doctors help the little girl.
 
"We are praying for miracles, but we have to be realistic about the bills," said Condon.

But they'll do whatever it takes, to get her back to good health.
     
"If I have known roads were so bad, I would have stayed home. I wouldn't have gotten her out," said Barkley.

Katie was alert for a short time Monday morning and the family believes the right side of her body has regained some feeling.

Katie will be undergoing another surgery later this week to fuse her spine.

If you would like to keep up with Katie's progress, click here.

If you would like to help the family, click here.

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