Kyli Hopkins’ mother credits God and the quick thinking of doctors and nurses at Centura-Littleton Adventist Hospital for saving her daughter from a fate her family is all too familiar with.
Three years after her brother was killed instantly because of being hit by a driver while walking, Kyli was hit too while walking to her gym in a strip mall. “I don’t want another mom to go through what I’ve gone through,” Kyli’s mom says.
Kyli’s fiancé Zach Brock said her symptoms in the moments after she was struck seemed like concussion symptoms. They would soon learn it was far worse.
Although Kyli was awake and talking at the hospital, doctors decided to perform a CT scan to make sure her injuries weren’t more serious. They realized the internal injury was much more severe than Kyli’s family had thought. “It went from one nurse to like 30 people in the room, and they said, ‘We have to do emergency surgery to save her life,’” Zach said. “The doctors, nurses, everyone here was amazing,” he said of the caregivers at Littleton.
Centura neurosurgeon Dr. Andrew Romeo performed an emergency operation to remove part of Kyli’s skull and allow her brain to swell, which avoided pressure that could have ended her life.
“The [initial] procedure prevented Kyli from suffering brain herniation, which is generally a fatal event,” Dr. Romeo explained. “Based on her initial presentation, she was on the verge of suffering brain herniation prior to the operation.” Instead, she’ll soon be headed to rehab and then back to Littleton Adventist Hospital for another operation.
Kyli was all smiles when she spoke to Denver’s FOX-affiliated TV station KDVR about her experience, despite a badly bruised leg, 45 staples in her scalp and two skull fractures. “I just feel really fortunate I get to be here,” she told the TV station.
The car that hit Kyli was only going about ten miles per hour, police told her family, but it was enough to cause the critical injuries. They don’t blame the driver, who stayed on the scene to help, but Kyli has advice for others. “Just to be more cautious and aware of your surroundings and slow down,” she said.
Kyli is expected to make a full recovery. She and her family believe her brother Karter, who died after being hit by a car in 2017, was watching over her when she was hit. Her mom Gina told the TV station, “I’m so thankful that her best friend and her guardian angel Karter sent her back and said, ‘You’re not done on that earth, little girl.'”