Resilient 6-Year-Old Defies Odds After Weeks-Long Coma: 'We’re Getting Our Little Girl Back' - NBC Chicago

Resilient 6-Year-Old Defies Odds After Weeks-Long Coma: 'We’re Getting Our Little Girl Back'

Even she knows—her progress—is nothing short of amazing.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Leah Strong: Incredible Girl Walking Again After Hit-and-Run Crash

    Six-year-old Leah Dinchak was hit by a van in August, and after being in a coma, waking up, and going through extensive rehab, she's miraculously walking again. NBC 5's Chris Hush has been following her story from the beginning, and has this update. 

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019)

    A young north suburban girl has defied the odds after a horrific accident last year.

    Six-year-old Leah Dinchak was hit by a van last August— falling into a coma for weeks. In October, she spoke to NBC 5 for the first time since waking up. Now she’s walking again.

    Even she knows—her progress—is nothing short of amazing.

    “I felt good the last time I saw you guys, but now I feel like, great,” she said.

    Exclusive: Leah Dinchak, 5, Talks Recuperation After Van Accident Left Her in Coma

    Exclusive: Leah Dinchak, 5, Talks Recuperation After Van Accident Left Her in Coma

    A 5-year-old north suburban girl is defying doctor’s expectations after a tragic accident in August left her in a coma. NBC 5’s Chris Hush has an exclusive interview with the victim as she continues rehabilitation.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018)

    Liza Meiksins, Leah's physical therapist, says her patient is progressing well.

    “Now she’s going at these faster speeds, not holding on, no braces," Meiksins said.

    Jenni Dinchak, Leah's mother, is ecstatic.

    Thousands Rally Around Girl Left Unconscious in Accident

    [CHI] Thousands Rally Around Girl Left Unconscious in Accident
    A tragic accident in a northern Chicago suburb has left the family of a 5-year-old girl wondering if she’ll ever fully recover. Chris Hush reports.
    (Published Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018)

    “We’re getting our little girl back," she said.

    It was just six months ago—Leah— who was five at the time— slipped into a coma after being hit by a van while crossing a street in Lindenhurst.

    Her mother Jenni and father Blake waited bedside for her to wake up.

    When she did— she had to learn how talk, write, and walk again.

    Doctors weren’t sure how her brain injury would ever allow her to be the fierce young lady she was growing up to be.

    "She’s quite sassy," Jenni said. "She definitely knows what she wants ... sometimes it’s actually a struggle but we would much rather it be that way than not have any personality at all."

    Asked if she was ready to go back to school, Leah was enthusiastic.

    "Yes," she said. "Meet all my friends. We’re going to school one hour a day or two hours a day."

    She'll be back in the classroom as early as next month.

    The Dinchak family is even taking their first vacation after the accident. They're headed for Disney World this weekend.

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the NBC Chicago App

      Download the App

      Available for iOS and Android