Gresham teen hit by car has long road to recovery

She was critically injured in the crash but doctors say she will survive

Viridiana Orozco-Hernandez is recovering at OHSU after being hit by a car in Gresham. (Courtesy: Orozco-Hernandez family)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Gresham teenager hit by a car while crossing the street is still recovering in the hospital almost a month after the crash.

Viridiana “Vidi” Orozco-Hernandez’s family discussed her progress during a press conference at Oregon Health & Science University.

She was critically injured in the crash but doctors say she will survive.

Viridiana Orozco-Hernandez, left, and Raquelin Velasco Guitierrez (Gresham School District)
Viridiana Orozco-Hernandez, left, and Raquelin Velasco Guitierrez (Gresham School District)

“Very hopeful to have known that my sister was not awake for about a week and now she’s awake,” Yahaira Orozco-Hernandez said. “Even though it’s slow progress, it’s something, and I feel as though it’s better than nothing.”

Yahaira described her sister as funny and kind. “She’s the best sister anyone could have,” Yahaira said.

Vidi and Raquelin Velasco Gutierrez were walking near SE 1st Street and NE Kane Drive when they were struck by a minivan. The driver reportedly ran a red light and hit the 13-year-old girls who were in a marked crosswalk and had a green light.

Gutierrez recovered from her injuries and is back at school.

But in Vidi’s case, doctors say the odds were stacked against her.

“She has sustained a significant brain injury and she is a fortunate patient,” Dr. Juan Piantino said. “In the immediate future we are looking at physical and occupational therapy… We are looking at in-patient rehabilitation, probably for weeks if not months, and then we are looking at months of out-patient physical rehabilitation.”

Her road to recovery will be a long, winding path filled with uncertainty.

But her family says they’ll continue to stay by her side.

“To have my sister even open her eyes, it’s extremely hopeful,” Yahaira said.

Doctors say their next step will be trying to get Vidi into a wheelchair, perhaps with a speech assistant device. She’ll begin physical therapy after that.

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