Lily returns home after 9 weeks in hospitals

       More than two months after a serious traffic accident, 6-year-old Lily Griesan returned home to her family in Pleasant Valley June 24. Lily Griesan (left) and her twin sister Valerie are shown during Lily’s recent stay at Children’s Hospital in Aurora.
Courtesy of the Griesan family
       She had spent two weeks in Memorial Hospital's Pediatric ICU and just over seven weeks at the Children's Hospital in Aurora after a car, suspected of speeding, hit the Howbert Elementary student while she was riding her bicycle in an alley April 19.
       “She is breathing well on her own, her eye gaze is well-coordinated, and she is cognizant of what is going on around her,” reported her mother Jean Griesan. “She has gained enormous progress, but still has a long way to go. Her ribs are healed now, and her leg is healing very nicely. At this point, she is non-verbal, and making purposeful movements are very difficult for her. The staff at Children's assures the family that typically big gains are made once the child is moved back home, and all are excited to see those gains.”
       The thrill of bringing back his daughter was expressed by her father, Tom Griesan, in his website “blog” June 25: “It was sure nice to see the whole neighborhood running up to the blue van when we drove up. Lily absolutely loved that! I saw Valerie [Lily's twin sister] jump off her bike, dump it... helmet flying... and come running. Some neighbors also made us a huge yummy supper complete with stuff for Lily!”
       According to the Griesans, who have five daughters in all, Lily must continue her therapy at the Memorial Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation facility and additionally have follow-up visits at Children's.
       Mrs. Griesan emphasized how much she appreciated all the help the family has received. These included several fundraisers at Howbert before the school year ended, plus an ongoing “Lilies for Lily” offer at Rick's Nursery. Later this summer will be a benefit concert with Johnny Graves and the Blue Waves. A lady the Griesans did not even know heard about their daughter, then washed dogs for two days and gave the proceeds to the family.
       “We've had support in so many different ways,” Mrs. Griesan said. “Here are most of them: Prayer! Hugs, meals (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners), snacks, lawn care, rides for the kids and myself, people taking the kids various places and for play dates, gas cards and gift cards, blankets for Lily and her other sisters, help with our recycling, help with laundry, people getting groceries for us, etc. It's been totally amazing and humbling.”
       She added: “I can't say enough about the Westside community in coming together for us to help us through this awful period in our lives. 'Thank you' doesn't begin to be adequate, but it's oftentimes all I have, and I think that people understand that it goes a lot deeper than those simple words.”
       The driver of the vehicle that hit Lily has been charged with felony vehicular assault, according to a spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office. The case is pending. The driver's name cannot be released because he is under 18.

Westside Pioneer article