- Associated Press - Sunday, March 19, 2017

WATERLOO, Ala. (AP) - There are two dates Georgiana Kavich will never forget - Feb. 9 and March 7.

That Thursday in February was the day the 9-year-old fourth grader was victim of a freak accident at school. A car hit a pole and the school building near the sidewalk where Kavich and some other students were waiting after school. The teacher outside with the students was hit on the head when the support pole was knocked down.

Kavich, hit by the car, fell into a nearby shallow ditch landing face up as the car, still moving, rolled over her, pinning her beneath it.

Two students, who are junior firefighters and were aboard a bus waiting to leave for a basketball game, rushed to assist in getting her from under the car. One of the students ran to turn off gas to a leaking propane line.

Her mother, Lisa, was in line to pick her daughter up and saw the car hit the building, but didn’t know immediately that Georgiana was involved.

“It’s like nothing I could have ever imagined,” Lisa Kavich said. “They told me Georgiana was involved and I ran to her. We wedged ourselves underneath there to try and keep her calm, just talking to her and reassuring her that we were going to take care of her.”

Georgiana was airlifted to Huntsville Hospital, where she was stabilized to be flown to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

She remained in the intensive care unit for a week with both lungs collapsed, a punctured spleen, a slight tear in her liver, a fractured pelvis, a fractured rib and a broken left clavicle. She also lost four pints of blood.

Almost a month to the day later, March 7 marked Georgiana’s return to school and the friends and teacher she loves.

She arrived at school with her mom at her side. Her teacher, Amy LeCroy, a veteran educator, had herself just come back to school after a year off following a serious automobile accident. She knew firsthand the kind of battle Georgiana’s been through.

“This smart, precious child had been recuperating at home for about three weeks and she stayed on top of her schoolwork the whole time,” LeCroy said. “She catches on so easily that I knew she wouldn’t have that much to catch up on, just a little math.”

Georgiana arrived at school to a hero’s welcome from her classmates, and there were tears - hers and theirs.

“It was kind of like it all hit me at once when I got there,” Georgiana said. “I’d been sort of scared to go back, not really wanting to leave my Mom, but they made me feel great and then I just fell right in.”

Georgiana’s small class of 18, a close-knit group, is one of Mrs. LeCroy’s favorites.

“They love each other and look out for each other,” she said. “They’re truly the best, and I’ve been so proud of their response to Georgiana’s accident. They didn’t let a day go by they didn’t talk about her, just genuinely missing her. Literally, a part of them was missing until she returned. I felt like there was a hole every day with that little desk empty.”

For Georgiana, the good outweighs the bad as she reflects on the past month of her life.

“The hospital was really awesome,” she said. “I was uncomfortable a little because I was on a ventilator, and they had lung tubes in that pressed down on me and that hurt. But everyone was nice, and it really was the best hospital.”

She admits she got a little stir crazy while at home, but when a pediatrician suggested she might need to be homeschooled to protect her compromised lungs a little longer, especially during flu season, she said, “no way.”

“I’m way too busy at school for that, and I really, really wanted to get back to all my friends,” she said.

Lisa Kavich said she didn’t expect her strong-willed daughter to agree to be homeschooled.

“I knew I couldn’t have kept her away, and now that she’s back and loving it, I know it was right,” she said. “She threw out the first ball at Waterloo’s (high school) softball game (March 9), and is looking forward to getting back to playing with her team.

“The main thing is she still has her sassiness and for that, we’re thankful,” said her Mom. “She’s a fighter, and that was instrumental in her recovery. We’re blessed.”

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Information from: TimesDaily, https://www.timesdaily.com/


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