TODAY'S TMJ4 Exclusive
Struck college student on path to full recovery
Tom Murray reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
WAUWATOSA - A nurse helped Mai Kaw Xiong from her wheelchair in a rehab kitchen at Froedtert Medical Center. The simple task of cooking a stir fry is helping Xiong rebuild muscle strength.
"I want to tell everybody who supported me, who is behind me, thank you," she told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
This 22-year-old could only speak in a whisper for her first interview. She had a tube in her throat for weeks.
"All I remember is waking up consciously and wondering why I'm in a hospital," the young woman recounted.
Mai Kaw had her sights set on graduation from Alverno College. She played volleyball as part of an active, energetic lifestyle.
On March 14, a speeding car put Xiong's dreams on hold. The car struck her near the intersection of Farwell & North on Milwaukee's East Side.
Xiong said she does not remember that night.
"Shortly after her injury, we didn't know if she was going to survive the night," said trauma surgeon Dr. Todd Neideen.
Mai Kaw was in an induced coma, intensive care and critical condition for two months.
"When we stopped sedating her, we didn't know if she was going to wake up," Neideen explained.
The doctors who once feared Xiong would only survive a few days are now telling her she can go home in a few days.
"She'll need outpatient therapies to further get her strong, back to hopefully full function," said Dr. Mark Klingbeil, a rehabilitation specialist. "I'm optimistic."
Xiong's body may be weak, but her mind is sharp, her smile infectious and her spirit inspiring. She hopes to return to Alverno in the fall.
Douglas Davis, a former Marine, is accused of driving the car that struck Xiong and fleeing the scene. A trial is scheduled this summer.