The Omaha World-Herald's Mitch Sherman gives us an update on 2 year old Alexis Verzal, the daughter of Nebraska alums Brandon and Tiffany Verzal. The Verzals met as students working in the HuskerVision studios, and eventually moved to Texas A&M to manage the A&M athletic departments video facilities. That is, until April 3rd, 2008. That day, something absolutely horrible happened at a day care in College Station. What happened exactly may never be known, but it left 14 month old Alexis in the hospital with severe brain injuries and the babysitter facing life in prison. The Verzal family posted an absolutely heartbreaking YouTube video of Alexis in the hospital a week after the incident. (I won't embed it; you can choose to watch it or not.)
The Verzals returned to Lincoln, where Alexis has made remarkable progress at Madonna Rehabilitaton Hospital. She's beginning to crawl once again (YouTube), and learning to talk and use her right hand again (YouTube).
The Verzal's are making a go of it professionally. They've formed their own video production company, producing videos for the Huskers as well as Alabama. The Aggies at A&M have also been supportive of the family, holding fundraisers to help out the Verzal family.
I've got to admit, this story absolutely drilled me in the heart. My own daughter is just a few months older than Alexis, and in day care as well. We hope we've selected well, just as the Verzals' thought as well. So when I see little Alexis' progress, I can't help but compare her with my own daughter, and realize that Alexis will have to deal with this for the rest of her life. My daughter got in trouble at daycare for not listening to the teacher and running off down the hall; I'm sure the Verzals' would absolutely LOVE to have that problem.
Tonight, I'm saying a little prayer for the Verzals. Alexis has made quite a recovery in the last year, but even so, it's just so unfair for a beautiful little girl to have to endure such a horrific experience.