TAMPA (FOX 13) - It was all smiles Sunday afternoon for a celebration of life. But 10 years ago this month, that’s exactly was Queena was fighting for.
The high school senior was viciously attacked while returning books at Bloomingdale Library -- beaten so brutally, she no longer can walk, talk, see or hear. But this day, her sister says, was a focus on the milestones.
“She’s here today to celebrate with all of her supporters all of the progress that she has made over the last 10 years,” Anna Donato said. “All of the obstacles she has overcome and all of the hearts that she has inspired and the people that she’s touched.”
Queena undergoes multiple therapy sessions each week. Just last July, she took her first steps. Donato says, it’s the community’s kindness that has walked alongside her family throughout this journey.
“Ninety percent of all of her therapies are funded through the generosity of the community, with government assistance being minimal,” she said.
Now, they’re giving back. Queena’s family created a non-profit called Hope Heals the Brain, to help other families in central Florida suffering with a traumatic brain injury.
“We are here to reach out to those families going through those situations, and tell them that it’s going to be OK, and provide resources for them and just be there for them,” Donato said.
And instill hope, that life is still full of more happy moments.