Teen Injured In Crash With Drunk Driver Healing With Help Of Community

Wednesday, September 12th 2012, 10:57 pm
By: News On 6

A community came together for a Green Country teenager injured in a crash that killed her sister back in June.

The public outpouring since that tragic day has been tremendous.

Anna Johnston is making big strides in her physical therapy. Her coordination is better, her limp has vanished and her confidence is higher.

"I'm stronger, definitely, and I don't run into the wall and doorpost as much. My balance has improved," Anna said.

The 17-year-old has come a long way since June 26. That's when she and her sister Janie were in a car accident on Lynn Lane.

6/27/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police Identify Woman Killed In East Tulsa Crash

Tulsa Police said a drunk driver hit the sisters' van, killing Janie.

After three weeks in the hospital, Anna had severe physical delays.

She needed therapy, but her parents don't have health insurance to pay for it, so she tried to rehab at home.

CORE Physical Therapy in Broken Arrow saw the News On 6 story about Anna and donated their services for free.

"That's what we're here to do, is to help people function better, to be happy and live well," said Libby Boone, with CORE. "It was a pretty compelling story and we wanted to make sure that she got the best care she could."

The therapists have helped Anna re-train the connection between her brain and her body.

"She's functioning very well. It's a miracle," Anna's mother, Carolyn Johnston, said.

Carolyn said she loves seeing Anna smile again, thanks to the generosity of others.

7/26/2012 Related Story: Family Struggles One Month After Crash Caused By Drunk Driver

"It's very encouraging and it's uplifting. It helps keep us going," she said.

The family is still struggling with the financial toll of the accident on top of the grief of losing a child.

They don't know where they'd be without the support they've received from total strangers.

"It's just been a real blessing to know that people are out there who really do care," Anna said.

Police identified the driver who hit Anna and her sister as Donna Murphy.

Tulsa Police presented DUI manslaughter charges to the DA last week, involving Murphy. The DA is reviewing the case.