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Palmerton teen back in hospital

  • Brong
Published February 20. 2014 05:00PM

A 15-year-old Palmerton girl who was injured in a crash in January is back in Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Emily Brong was seriously injured in a car crash on Jan. 19 in Franklin Township. She was one of four passengers in a car driven by Liz Heffley. Her car was hit by another teen driver, whose car slid on ice. Heffley's car was pushed off into another car, which is what caused extensive injuries to Emily, who was sitting in the front passenger side when the crash occurred.

A few days ago she was transferred to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, but has since been taken back into the trauma-neuro intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital, where she is awaiting a scan because she has been running a fever.

Family spokesperson, Nicki Frank said that Emily is alert and doing great.

Police originally reported that Emily and another passenger Tyler Fisher were flown to the hospital from the scene, but her mother, Beth Brong, said that all five teens hurt in the crash were taken via ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Emily spent three weeks in the trauma-neuro ICU at Lehigh Valley.

Her mother, who has been keeping people updated on a Facebook page, said Emily had been admitted to the head injury program at Good Shepherd.

For a few days, Emily's days were filled with a combination of physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, her mother said.

She had been expected to remain at Good Shepherd for eight to 12 weeks.

"We understand that there is much talk and confusion within the community as to exactly what Emily is and is not doing," she continued. "At this time, we can tell you that her eyes are open and she is alert at different times of the day."

Emily tires easily and will become more tired as she gets deeper involved into her daily therapy routine, her mother said.

"Right now, she is able to move her arms and her hands," she continued. "Emily is unable to speak because she has a trach in. It is unknown how long this will remain in. She is in a wheelchair as she has not yet moved her legs. Emily's brain needs to relearn everything. This includes her wake/sleep cycle."

Her mother said that this is not like watching a soap opera when the person in a coma wakes up and walks out of the hospital.

She needs to work to regain her strength. Among other activities, Emily plays first base for the Palmerton Area High School softball team.

"The road ahead is sure to be long and winding," Beth said. "This could take anywhere from a year to two. When she comes home, she will continue to work."

Her mother thanks everyone for support, concern and prayers and asks for continued prayer.

"These are the things that have carried our family through this tough time," she said.

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