Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2012

By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS — After Alexis Mashburn was struck by a van on Jan. 15, family and friends knew the road ahead would be difficult.
Mashburn suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in critical condition following the accident, which occurred when she and a friend ran in front of the oncoming vehicle during a scavenger hunt on Mt. Olivet Road.
But her recovery has been what her mother, Melissa Bruce, called miraculous.
“She’s doing good,” Melissa said by phone from Winston-Salem on Thursday. “She’s amazing the doctors with her recovery, but she’s still got a ways to go.”
Saturday, members of the Outkast Kustoms car club are holding a fundraiser to support the family.
Travis Bruce, Alexis’ stepfather, is a member of the car club. He and Melissa will be on hand to help with the fundraising event.
Proceeds will help offset the expenses involved. Melissa has put her job aside to help care for her daughter.
Alexis was on a ventilator and a feeding tube for days after the collision, Melissa said.
It took weeks for her to be able to talk, and she’s still unable to speak clearly.
And the injury has left Mashburn’s short-term memory greatly impaired, though her mother said she can remember everyone and everything she knew before the accident.
Doctors have said she is healing more quickly because of her age.
But Melissa says a greater power is at work.
“I thank God for all of this,” she said. “There’s been a lot of prayers, and it’s gone out of the United States.”
She said that, through their fellow members at Charity Baptist Church, missionaries in other countries are also praying for a full recovery.
But the recovery process remains slow.
It will take time for doctors to know just what the lasting impacts of her injury will be.
For family friend Jennifer Bryant, who’s helping organize Saturday’s event, the weeks have shown just how much one’s life can change in an instant.
“It was very, very scary,” Bryant said. “There were a lot of unknowns.”
But, Bryant said, Alexis “is a fighter, and God has been with her every step of the way.”
Saturday’s fundraiser will be held at Cardinal Tire, located at 350 Auction Dr., Salisbury.
The charity car show will feature music, food, vendors and raffles.
The action will begin at 9 a.m. and continue into the afternoon, Bryant said.
Proceeds will help defray the family’s medical expenses and the expense of travel between Kannapolis and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
For Melissa, knowing friends are rallying to support her daughter is a comfort.
But she said she hopes people will learn a lesson from what Alexis and her family have endured.
“Safety means everything,” Melissa said. “And you shouldn’t take safety for granted. It can happen so fast.”
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Donations to support the family may be sent to Alexis Walk By Faith, c/o Wells Fargo, attn: Myra Camp, 868 Church St. N, Concord, NC 28025.
Please make checks payable to “Alexis Walk By Faith.”
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.