After nearly 7 months, Virginia teen emerges from coma


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Hearing that her daughter Sedonia wouldn’t be coming home as soon as she expected was actually the best news her mother Dr. Carrie Triepel could receive.

“Doctor called me and said she’s emerged,” Triepel said of the phone call she received on August 7. “I just, I just screamed holy expletives.”

Sedonia, 17, suffered major injuries from a car crash that happened on December 19, 2018, on North Great Neck Road, where it meets River Road in Virginia Beach. She was put on life support because of injuries to her brain.

Since then, Sedonia has been in a coma and has had 15 surgeries. Since mid January, she has been treated at the Shepherds Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The center specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries and acquired brain injury.

Triepel, who herself is an orthopedics surgeon for Sentara, said progress has been steady. Sedonia was scheduled to come home at the end of August, until the emergence opened up new rehabilitation opportunities.

“Now she’ll be doing 5 hours of rehab per day, and it’s a very specialized area. Only a few areas in the county are offering that rehab,” Triepel said.

She said her daughter can move her extremities, but controlling the movement will take work.

“She can answer yes, no questions. For example she will turn her head left for ‘yes’ and right for ‘no’,” Triepel explains.

However, her memory is in tact, according to her mother. She even can remember what Harry Potter “house” she was sorted too.

“That’s my daughter,” Triepel laughed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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