Teenage Girl Hurt In Tragic Car Crash Faces Challenging Recovery - New York News

Teenage Girl Hurt In Tragic Car Crash Faces Challenging Recovery

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PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. -

A teenage girl who was hurt in this crash on Memorial Day in Atlantic County is speaking out.

19–year old Serena Sheppard just came home after 73 days in the hospital and weeks in rehab. Now along with recovering from horrific injuries she and her family are facing another challenge.

She still bears the scars of the horrific car accident that took the lives of three of her friends and seriously injured her 15-year old brother victor and another teen 18 year old Melissa Rodriguez, who was driving.

Serena returned home just this week, and is slowly recovering. She is relearning to walk and still battles a traumatic brain injury.

Along with medical challenges, the family faces yet another battle. Steep medical bills are piling up.

Serena's mom Alexandra says her daughter's bills alone total almost a million dollars. Insurance helps but it is not enough, so the family is reaching out for community support.

"She will need long term care because of her brain injury so that means round the clock care, speech therapy occupational therapy and physical therapy," her mother said.

"I did have to quit job to care for her to be there for them. I slept in a hospital bed for three months and it was hard. You can imagine not having a job but prayer does help me.

Still Serena and her family say they are grateful to have survived the accident and cry every day for the friends who did not. An 18, 16 and 14-year old all family friends died when the car Rodriguez was driving crossed the center lane on North Franklin Boulevard and slammed into a bus.

Serena has a message for other teen drivers and her passengers.

"To be careful driving. I was messed up. That was bad. It was a bad accident." she said.

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