PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Farrah Fox spent her 19th birthday in a coma.
“Now I can walk and clearly I can talk. Not good but baby steps!” she said, buzzing with optimism. “Keep the prayers coming, they’re working.”
She would FaceTime with her younger sister, Madison, from an Orlando-area hospital, asking her how to do things that we all take for granted.
“One of the things she asked me was how to swallow spit,” Madison said.
Farrah was the passenger in a car that was hit by a speeding pick-up truck in July 2018. Michael D'Avanzo, an off-duty Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy, was driving the pickup, according to investigators. They say he was going 53 mph in a 25 mph zone when he ran a stop sign.
She doesn’t remember it.
“Probably for the better,” she said.
She broke bones in her leg and her pelvis , which have recovered. Doctor’s told her that her brain is healing.
“People say I’m over the hill and that’s a good thing!” she said.
She credits her mom, Marla-Jo, who took leave from two jobs to be with her in Orlando.
“I want to pay her back, some way, somehow,” she said.
A judge fined D'Avanzo $500, suspended his license for three months and assigned aggressive driving school Wednesday.
“It was just the improper use of God’s given free will at the wrong time for our daughter,” her dad Ira said.
She also thanked first responders and doctors, she credits for saving her life. “It means a lot to me, it really does,” she said.
Her goal is to get back into the classroom at the University of Central Florida and finish her education.