WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- One mom says she doesn’t have a lot of family, but after what the staff at Brenner Children’s Hospital did for her son, they have become family.
Christina Jerrell’s 10-year-old son Alex Sanchez is like many other boys his age -- he’s outgoing and enjoys playing video games.
"He makes everybody laugh,” Jerrell said.
However, she also says there is definitely one quality that sets him apart.
"Very strong. He's the strongest child I know,” she said.
Not many people could handle what he and his mother have been through this past year.
Since July 5, 2014, life has been anything but normal.
A car accident that day would change their lives dramatically.
Jerrell didn’t know how bad it was until she regained consciousness at Baptist Hospital and saw Alex for the first time since the wreck.
"I walk in he's on life support and he's in a coma. I'm told to spend my last moments with him because he was not going to make it,” she said.
Fortunately, Alex did make it, but he sustained multiple injuries affecting his digestive system and has had to undergo more than 30 surgeries.
His spinal cord was significantly damaged, and he lost sensation in his legs.
Alex is paralyzed.
Despite a mix of progress and setbacks, Alex doesn’t let it get him down.
"He has been through all this and he still comes out with a smile on his face,” Jerrell said.
Jerrell says the staff at Brenner Children’s Hospital has gone beyond just caring for him physically, but constantly makes an effort to lift his spirits.
One of her favorite memories was when staff surprised Alex to take him via ambulance to see the Ninja Turtles movie at the theater.
The journey for Alex continues.
He has a surgery scheduled for the end of this month, but Christina still remains optimistic knowing how fortunate they are.
"It's a blessing that he is still here,” she said.
Brenner Children’s Hospital is set to launch a fundraising campaign that allows people to participate via social media called “Extra Mile 4 Brenner.”
People upload videos of themselves doing an activity and challenge others to do the same, each time donating to the hospital.
For more information, click here.