ATLANTA - A young girl and her mother have made it their mission to give back after a near-fatal crash left her with injuries doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta say only half of all people survive.
At the tender age of 11 years old, Arielle Urquhart isn’t just a pageant queen and honorary Disney princess… she’s a walking, breathing miracle.
"I like to say that I’m a survivor and I survived an injury only 50% of people survive," she told Fox 5.
In January 2020, she and her mother Shakira Massiah were involved in a head-on collision that sent them both to the hospital with life-threatening injures.
"We were on our way to school and some lady flew out in front of me," Massiah recalled. "It knocked me out, so I was unconscious and my daughter was dejected from her seat."
Doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta determined Arielle had suffered a fractured leg, a concussion and a major spinal cord fracture.
"She also had a pretty significant fracture of the complex that joins the head to the spine… some people will call it internal decapitation," neurosurgeon Dr. David Wrubel told FOX 5 Atlanta.
Those injures left her in a wheelchair, but Arielle said channeling the spirit of her favorite Disney princesses made her determined to walk again.
"I feel like I had a like push in me… then after that I learned how to walk again very quick," she said.
Several surgeries and rehabilitation therapy sessions later, Arielle has come a long way. Not only is she walking, she’s now taking steps to help other sick children in need.
"We make care packages for the patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. A lot of times you don’t have family there to bring you food or drinks, so we’ll put together breakfast care packages, snacks, toiletries, all things that are really needed," Massiah explained.
She told FOX 5 it’s the very least they could do for other children in the hospital she credits with saving her daughter’s life and helping her regain her footing.
To learn more about their efforts to give back you can click here.