About the Accident
Andrea Briggs, 20, was critically injured on the evening of July 26, 2011 while returning from a Denver ice cream shop with a friend. She was a passenger in a car that was broadsided by an oncoming vehicle in the Cherry Creek area. She suffered multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury. Paramedics did not expect her to survive. She has fought back and with help will fully recover.
Andrea is a smart, funny, feisty, fun and beautiful college student who dreams of working abroad after she earns her degree. Days before the crash, Andrea learned that she made the dean’s list during her spring semester after posting a 4.0 GPA. She has always been adventurous, warm, loving and kind – a daughter who dearly loves her parents, step mom, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She is a friend who adores her tight circle of pals.
To put a picture of Andrea in your mind is to envision sweet, often sly laughter, a firm hug, an animal lover, an extraordinarily fashionable girl with an excellent taste in music, a fan of hip comedy, and a highly independent spirit bursting with life. One very cool chick. She entered this world a fighter, spending her very first weeks in an intensive care unit. This trait has served her well during her recovery. She never backs down from a challenge.
Since her injury, she has had to work to regain her ability to eat, drink, smile, laugh, speak, read and comprehend complex sentences and stories, do math, think logically, move her left hand, arm, hand and leg, then her right arm, hand, foot and leg. She is standing again with help, on her way to learning how to stand without help. She has taken her first steps and next she soon will re-learn her old strides. Her memory is slowly improving as are her cognitive abilities. Andrea still has a ways to go to return to the Andrea we once knew and loved – but she is headed quickly in that direction. She has accomplished all of these feats through her own tenacious therapy work at Craig Hospital, working with a supremely talented group of therapists and a terrific doctor.
Like a newborn baby, everything – every little thing – from breathing and swallowing to walking and talking – must be relearned after a traumatic brain injury, one baby step at a time. Andrea has patiently conquered each of these mile stones a month at a time. Her sense of humor remains fully intact. She is back on Facebook, texting and constantly listening to music. Her physical therapist has called Andrea “the hardest worker” at Craig Hospital. And through all the grueling, often-painful rehab work, Andrea maintains her sweetness, her smile and her inherent toughness. She has taught us all the true meaning of “warrior.” She is fearless. She is on her way back.