COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A little girl from Orangeburg who was seriously injured when an EF3 tornado destroyed her home on April 13 was released from Prisma Health Children’s Hospital with a special send off from her team of nurses and doctors on Tuesday.
Brooke Hoover, 8, was impaled by a tree and suffered multiple fractures, as well as internal injuries, when the tornado ripped through her home. She’s had several surgeries, but Tuesday, she was finally able to leave the hospital.
“It’s pretty remarkable that she has had as many problems as she had and she looks as great as she does right now,” pediatric surgeon Dr. Stanton Adkins said.
Nurses and doctors lined the sidewalk in front of the children’s hospital holding signs and blowing bubbles as Brooke’s mom and nurse wheeled her to her car.
“The community’s been really good,” her mother, Denise Hutson, said. “We’ve been blessed with a lot of things from the community. Without them, we wouldn’t have been this far and also without the doctors and nurses."
Brooke also got to see her big sister for only the second time in nearly six weeks. Michelle Hoover, 11, was also injured and treated at Prisma.
“You cannot keep a sister from a sister," Brooke said.
While the family of three does not have a home to return to, they are staying with close family, and they say they will get through this together.
“I would be lost without my mommy," Brooke said.
Nurses and doctors say they wanted to give Brooke a sendoff she would always remember because they say they will never forget her.
“It’s really wonderful to finally see her feeling like a kid again and being able to get up and run around and do all of the things she’s supposed to do because she is a child,” Adkins explained.
Brooke still has at least two more surgeries. Hutson says she’s been overwhelmed by the community’s support. She says someone has even offered to build her family a new home.
Wednesday, Prisma Health will celebrate National Trauma Survivors Day, a day dedicated to providing support to survivors of traumatic injuries and their caregivers. Prisma Health is encouraging everyone to share an inspirational note on social media Wednesday to raise awareness and aid in these patients’ recovery process.