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Amaya's Recovery Fund

$3,415 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 80 people in 1 month
Created July 10, 2019
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--


40486172_1562777049967609_r.jpeg(Front of car after impact)

40486172_1562777061949270_r.jpeg(Driver's seat, where Amaya was sitting)

40486172_1562973334760071_r.jpeg(Distance between vehicle's collapsed roof and Amaya's headrest)


40486172_1562782853244507_r.jpeg(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.


40486172_1562783200715531_r.jpeg(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. 


40486172_1562784520452397_r.jpeg(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. 


40486172_156280031376820_r.jpeg(Photo of Amaya before the accident)

40486172_1562799913127977_r.jpeg(Photo of Amaya and Remington, taken the day before the accident)





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Amaya exceeded everyone's expectations & was discharged from the hospital 07/19/19. She is fierce & was eager to heal... so she did! She continues to recover at home & has agreed to do an interview with Fox 21 out of Duluth, to personally update their viewers. I'll post the link after it airs.
Thanks again to everyone for your support!
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Amaya is doing awesome this morning! It's hard to believe it hasn't even been 2 weeks since her accident.

This morning she got a visit from a Blue Angels pilot & his mechanic which was pretty cool!!
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Amaya is making incredible progress. She is still in the ICU, with good days and bad days, but overall she has been getting better every day. She has been able to start walking up and down the hallway and she's been taken off her liquid diet, eating soft foods like mashed potatoes. Today, Amaya took a huge step towards getting her trach tube out, with the doctor removing her size 6 tube and replacing it with a size 4 tube. She says the new tube is more comfortable and she is able to plug the tube, allowing her to talk and breathe through her mouth. Once the doctors are confident she is able to breathe without any assistance for long periods, they will remove the trach completely. Amaya is still in great spirits, and has enjoyed reading the kind messages and comments posted on this page. We'd like to thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers and support as Amaya begins the road to recovery!
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We are happy to announce that Amaya's surgery was successful. The operation took about twice as long as originally planned due to the great level of detail and care the surgeons used. We were able to see her at around 11:30 PM. The reconstruction went well and the plastic surgeon was pleased with the outcome.


Unfortunately, after Amaya woke up the doctors noticed an issue with the spinal fluid drain that was placed during the operation. Very little cerebrospinal fluid came out after the drain was placed, so it was ultimately removed and Amaya had to undergo a total of 10 spinal tap procedures to rectify the buildup. She will be continually monitored for signs of CSF buildup in the next few days.


Amaya is still in the ICU in critical but stable condition. She's understandably been in a lot of pain and still cannot speak due to the trach tube in her neck, but she has been able to communicate by writing and using basic hand signals. Her dad, mom, two of her brothers and her boyfriend Remington have remained by her side 24/7. She's remaining incredibly strong, and even through the pain she sometimes gives us a smile.


We would like share our deepest gratitude for the amazing support given by all of you. The kind thoughts, calls and prayers have continued to brighten our spirits, and the donations given by such incredibly generous and selfless individuals have gone so far to help alleviate the burden and uncertainty we're facing, so we can just focus on supporting Amaya.


We'd also like to thank the incredible team of doctors, nurses and staff of St. Mary's Hospital, who have gone above and beyond in every way. Their skill, compassion and care have given us such comfort and hope through this tragedy and we will be forever grateful to their dedication.
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$3,415 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 80 people in 1 month
Created July 10, 2019
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