16-year-old hit while vacationing in Florida returns home

The teen's survival amazed her medical team. But now, she has to relearn how to sit up, stand, talk and even swallow.

Video Transcript

SHELLEY CHILDERS: It was supposed to be a big beach vacation for the Friels family, but it came to an abrupt end when 16 year old Melissa was hit by a car. Doctors in Florida told the family to prepare for the worst, but they refused to accept their challenges. Melissa survived, and now, three weeks later, she's being admitted to TIRR Memorial Hermann here at the Texas Medical Center.

Three weeks after her family spring break vacation in Destin, Florida, Melissa Friels, a Spring High School sophomore, is finally back in Houston.

KAYLON FRIELS: Tomorrow she has a long day ahead of her.

SHELLEY CHILDERS: But returning today on a medical flight from Pensacola, her sister waiting eagerly to see her for the first time in weeks.

KAYLON FRIELS: She cried. I think we both cried. No parent, no big sister wants to see her like that.

SHELLEY CHILDERS: Just two days into the family trip, she was hit by a car while on a bike ride with cousins. Melissa underwent emergency brain surgery.

KAYLON FRIELS: They didn't expect her to live because of how bad it was, how bad she was hit. How bad, that she flew over the car and landed on her head.

SHELLEY CHILDERS: The 16 year old not only survived, but amazed her medical team with a quick rebound, being admitted to TIRR Memorial Hermann months earlier than expected. But she did suffer a traumatic brain injury and, at 16 years old, will have to relearn how to sit up, stand, talk, and even swallow.

KAYLON FRIELS: We're out there at a beach house, having fun, and this happened.

SHELLEY CHILDERS: For her family, it's been hard. But they say they are blessed she is still with them, telling us this cross-country runner is a fighter and determined to keep beating the odds. Shelley Childers, ABC 13 Eyewitness News.