Amaya Nelson is a 17-Year-Old high school student that was involved in a tragic accident on July 8, 2019, where her sub-compact car collided with a large bull moose. --Warning: Some of the following descriptions and images are graphic--
On July 8, Amaya was driving with her boyfriend, Remington, to go home to see her dad in northern Minnesota when a moose jumped in front of her Dodge Neon. Even though she was driving the speed limit, there was no room to stop, and her subcompact car hit the moose with 127 Tons of force. The moose rolled onto her car, collapsing the roof and forcing the brunt of the 1,400 lb animal's body against Amaya.
Since the moose was so large, the front bumper of the car only hit the animal's legs, meaning the airbags did not deploy. Both Amaya and her boyfriend were wearing their seatbelts, which helped saved their lives.
First responders have said that it is a miracle that Amaya and her boyfriend survived the accident.
The moose did not survive the collision. Game wardens turned the animal over to local Native American tribes where it will be processed and distributed to tribal members for food.--Details continue below photos--(Front of car after impact)
(Driver's seat, where Amaya was sitting)
(Distance between vehicle's collapsed roof and Amaya's headrest)(Photo of Amaya taken in the ambulance)
Amaya and her boyfriend were rushed to a local hospital after the accident, but upon assessing her injuries, the decision was made by the hospital to emergency transport her to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, MN for intensive care. She is currently in the Pediatric ICU.
Amaya's boyfriend Remington was initially discharged from the hospital on his own recognizance so he could remain by Amaya's side, but he is now receiving care from St. Mary's Hospital for head, neck and arm injuries. The full extent of Amaya's injuries is still not known
, but as of writing this (July 10), her injuries include extensive facial trauma, with multiple fractures to her skull, broken eye socket, broken palate, both cheek bones broken, broken nose/nose bridge, shattered nasal cavities, damage to her teeth which will require dental surgery, bruising on her brain stem, and damage to the cerebral membrane (which is the protective lining of her brain), resulting in an internal leak of cerebrospinal fluid. The extent of the membrane damage won't be known until after the first surgery, and may require major open brain surgery.(Photo of Amaya taken at hospital)
Today Amaya is undergoing the first of her reconstructive surgeries. Her brilliant team of doctors at St. Mary's will first perform a tracheotomy and insert a breathing tube. Once the breathing tube in her neck is in place, her jaw will be wired shut and a plastic surgery team will perform a facial reconstruction and determine the extent of the damage in her face. The reconstruction will involve painstaking rebuilding and reinforcing of the fragile bone structure in Amaya's face to limit the long-term physical and cosmetic consequences of the accident. Finally, a neurosurgeon will place a drain tube in her spine, which will allow built up cerebrospinal fluid to be removed.
The team of doctors estimate that she will have to have the trachea tube in her neck for between 1 and 4 weeks
, and that her jaw will be wired shut for between 4 and 8 weeks -
depending on the unknown variables of her injuries as well as her recovery speed. During this time, she will not be able to talk, will breathe primarily through a hole in her neck and will only be able to eat by sucking liquid through the gaps of her teeth.
Before the surgery, Amaya was awake and in good spirits. Her positive and strong-hearted nature are still very much intact and, above all, she's grateful that she and her boyfriend are alive. (Photo of Amaya before she was taken to surgery)
Since the accident, Amaya's family members have driven and flown in, some of them traveling thousands of miles, to be by her side and give her support.
Thankfully, Amaya's health insurance will significantly reduce the burden of immediate healthcare costs, but in the weeks and months of Amaya's recovery process, her family members will have to take time off work to be her caretakers. They will also have to purchase equipment and supplies to ensure she is as comfortable as possible while she heals.
The proceeds from this campaign will go towards reducing the financial burden on her close family members, so her family doesn't have to worry about anything but supporting Amaya as she recovers.
Additionally, some of the proceeds will be used to help purchase a more modern car with safety features that will ensure her safety and comfort when she is ready to start driving again.
We sincerely thank all of the friends and community members across the country who have reached out to share their thoughts, prayers and support for our brave girl. (Photo of Amaya before the accident)(Photo of Amaya and Remington, taken the day before the accident)