LEWISTOWN - Georgia Fake, of Lewistown, has been named one of Geisinger's 2013 Miracle Kids.
Only seven years old, Georgia survived being hit by a car and endured an extensive surgical process leading to recovery.
Fake was walking with her siblings and cousin in front of her house when she was suddenly struck by a car traveling 55 mph down the road.
Photo submitted by MICHAEL McMULLEN
Georgia Fake was named one of Geisinger’s 2013 Miracle Kids after recovering from being hit by a car.
Jennifer Fake, Georgia's mom, was in the house when she heard the collision.
"It sounded like an aerosol can popping in a fire," Jennifer Fake said of the sound when Georgia was struck by the car and thrown 30 feet into a utility pole.
Georgia was injured badly with fractures to her left femur, pelvis and a laceration on the left side of her forehead.
"When I came out to her side, she was moaning," Jennifer Fake said of Georgia. "I would say her name and she would just moan."
Georgia was taken to her local community hospital and then immediately flown to Janet Weis Children's Hospital at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Georgia's injuries demanded immediate attention. By the time Jennifer and family members arrived at the hospital, the team of doctors had already evaluated her.
"They told me she was stable but her injuries were very traumatic," Fake said. "They let me in to see her right away before her surgery, even though she was sedated."
The team of doctors caring for Georgia was astounded by the extent of her injuries.
"It was one of the worst traumas I've seen since I've been here," said Dr. Meagan Fernandez, pediatric orthopedic surgeon. "It takes a lot of force to cause a femur fracture. It's the largest bone in the body and for it to break it takes a lot of energy. We typically don't see injuries like that in her age group."
Georgia was in surgery for almost four hours to repair her femur and pelvis. One of the fractures in Georgia's leg was on a growth plate, causing Fernandez further concern.
"Pediatric surgery is a little more difficult because the growth plates are still open," Fernandez said. "When you have a fracture of your growth plate, like Georgia had, it can either stop growing, causing that leg to be shorter than the other, or overgrow causing that leg to be longer."
Georgia spent 10 days recovering from surgery in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Janet Weis Children's Hospital.
"I stayed in the room with her," Fake said. "My girls, my aunt and my mom would come and go, while she was in. The hospital staff took care of us really well and Dr. Fernandez checked on her constantly."
Georgia's femur and pelvis fractures healed well and the hardware used to fix her fractures were removed last June.
Georgia's recovery has been a long one and the accident caused some permanent damage to her leg. She has a residual foot drop that was secondary from the trauma, Fernandez said. Overall, Georgia progressed nicely from a wheelchair to a walker to, eventually, just a cane.
"She walks on her own at this point, but she uses a brace when she is going to be walking long distances," Fake said.
For Fernandez, Georgia's case is a memorable one and she is overjoyed to see her doing so well.
"She is a sweet, shy little girl," Fernandez said. "When we removed her hardware, we took the plate out of her pelvis and the rods out of her leg and gave them to her. She made the plate into a necklace."
Georgia lost the necklace at school and was upset about it during a visit with Fernandez. On her next visit, Fernandez had a surprise for Georgia.
"We got her a new plate and made it into a necklace for her," Fernandez said.
Georgia wore the new necklace proudly while attending a luncheon for Miracle Kids in Danville. She will also be celebrating her story and survival on June 1 and 2 during the Children's Miracle Network at Geisinger's 2013 Celebration at DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Tipton.