Road to recovery: Brainerd 6-year-old returns home after spring break crash

A Minnesota family’s spring break road trip took a tragic turn this March, when an accident with a semi left a 6-year-old girl with traumatic brain injury.

Kaliyah Cunningham’s dream was to put her love for performance into action.

Her mother, Miryah Herron, made plans for Kaliyah to record a song in a Hollywood studio over spring break.

On their way to Los Angeles, a horrific accident with a semi-truck put those plans on hold, doctors telling Herron that Kaliyah would never walk, talk, or sing again.

“They told me four months ago my kid would never walk, talk and be a vegetable,” Herron remembered. “Those were their exact words…Now the sky is the limit.”

On their GoFundMe page, Kaliyah’s family details the medical consequences of the accident. Kaliyah was left with bleeding and swelling in her brain, and had part of her skull removed. An MRI showed a stroke affecting her brain’s language centers.

Herron called her daughter’s recovery from traumatic brain injury a miracle.

“We don’t know where we are going. We know she’s here, alive, doing the best she can. She’ll be back to normal, I hope.”

The family had to stay in California until the July 4, when they finally returned home to Minnesota.