Woman who survived deadly crash returns to thank team who saved her life

May recognized as National Trauma Awareness Month

After a life-altering crash in which she lost her husband earlier this year, a Central Florida woman continues to make a miraculous recovery.

In light of National Trauma Awareness Month, Edith Cebada’s daughter and the team who worked to save her mother’s life are reflecting on the progress she’s made.

"That man and that woman were Edith and Humberto Cebada, my parents," Roxana Cebada-Cornejo, the couple’s daughter, said.

On March 10, the couple stopped on Florida’s Turnpike to fix a tarp on a trailer they were towing. Moments later, everything would change.

"When a driver in the same direction made this couple another statistic of a fatal accident caused by texting when driving,” Cebada-Cornejo said.

Cebada-Cornejo fought back tears as she remembered her father, who was found dead at the scene. Her mother was rushed to be treated by the team at Osceola Regional Medical Center, which is led by trauma surgeon Tracy Bilski.

The 73-year-old woman had brain hemorrhages, 20 broken ribs, fractures in her spine and injuries to her heart, lungs and foot. She was hospitalized for 31 days, spending many of them in the intensive care unit.

"Today, Edith remembers nothing of that fatal 10th of March, or two or three months after the accident,” Bilski said. “But she remembered Lourdes, the physical therapist who will put her face in front of her and shout, ‘Vamos Edith tu puede, tu eres capas! Come on Edith, you can you can do this!’"

Little by little, the woman regained enough strength to return to the hospital with her daughter this month to thank the team that saved her life.

"They're heroes. They're true heroes and they deserve to be honored,” the recovering woman said. “And like I said, they … they fill us up and remind us to keep doing what we're doing."

She said she wants the team to know how thankful she truly is. 

"Thank you for all your sacrifices. They are not in vain,” she said. “Thank you from the families.”

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