Exeter high school teen hospitalized after crash finally gets to go home

After nearly four months hospitalized, America Fernandez walked out of Valley Children's Hospital on Thursday.

The 18-year-old was hit by an SUV back in May near Highway 65 and Sequoia Drive in Exeter.

She spent weeks in a coma and underwent brain surgery. Family members questioned if she would survive.

But now she is heading home, and a police escort helped her get there - along with a community standing on the sidewalk celebrating her return.

Outside her house was a banner welcoming her back.

Inside her bedroom, balloons and people she loves.

The young woman was thankful to see this part of recovery.

"I'm happy because in the hospital they gave me a lot of medicine and right now they didn't send me any medicine," she said.

She said the past few months have been difficult but prayers got her through the hard times.

"I learned to walk, to go up the stair, and to move my hands and read, to talk and to do anything they wanted me to do," she said.

Her mother expressed her gratitude for those who stepped in to help them.

"There have been many emotions this entire ride but she is very thankful for those who have been praying for America," she said.

America said she still plans on going to Point Loma in San Diego.

Her current goal: to become a doctor.

But first, she got to have her favorite home-cooked meal from her mom - tacos.
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