NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Last January, we first heard about a Center girl who beat the odds after doctors told her parents she would most likely never wake up from a month-long coma.
Brooklyn Oliver suffered from an Anoxic brain injury, which can cause brain damage due to a lack of oxygen, during an Asthma attack on September 3, 2011. During the attack, she vomited and then aspirated…dying once at home, a second time at Center Hospital and a third time at LSU'S Children's Hospital in Shreveport where she went about 15 minutes without oxygen, her father says.
The now 8-year-old is thriving with the help of therapy, and after several requests for a bicycle like her sister's, her parents, and Lufkin Ambucs stepped in to help.
On Monday, the organization, with the help from their Longview branch, family and friends gave Brooklyn the surprise of a lifetime; a brand new, red bike.
The big smile on Brooklyn's face was a tell-tale sign of how happy she was for the surprise. As her therapist and parents asked her if she wanted to ride her new bike, Brooklyn could barely contain her excitement yelling "yeah!" and saying she thought the bike was pretty "cool."
"I don't think there's ever words to describe the happiness you feel to see your child happy," said mom, Rita Oliver.
Both parents, Rita and Landon, say they are overjoyed.
"It's reassuring to see how good God really is. You've got to realize about two or three years ago we were told she would be a vegetable," Landon Oliver said. "I mean, the rest of her life she wouldn't [be able] to do anything. Be completely brain-dead. And a little over three years later, she's pushing herself on a bike."
Friends and family even set up an obstacle course for Brooklyn with road signs that read Caution, Stop, and Go. Brooklyn enjoyed playing a game of Red Light, Green Light, and enjoyed going through the obstacle course with the help of her mom and dad.
But the best part, was being able to pedal the bike on her own, which for her parents, is a miracle.
"You can't put a dollar amount on a smile like that," said Landon Oliver.
The bike was back-ordered three times, so Lufkin Ambucs decided to get a little help from its Longview location so Brooklyn could finally get her bike.
"They actually shift bikes around for the kids that outgrow them. They can modify the bike and stuff like that, which works in our favor because they had one in Longview that Brooklyn was provided so that was a blessing," said Rita Oliver.
In their spare time, Rita says she is planning a bike-a-thon for Ambuc's customers.
"We'll explain the program to the regular kids that way when they see the bikes they will know a little bit about it and they won't be so nervous or wondering 'why my bike is a little different from my bike,' and raise money for the organization," said Rita Oliver.
"If you do a bike-a-thon and the people can chip in and help, you can dozens of those smiles and I think that's what it is about," said Landon Oliver.