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Shania Shockey home with family

November 19, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

After being hospitalized for months due to injuries suffered upon being struck by a van last summer, 5-year-old Shania Shockey returned Tuesday to Washington County and her family.

A spokeswoman at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore said Shania was released from the facility Tuesday. Shania underwent extensive rehabilitation for severe head injuries she suffered on July 21, the day she was struck by a van behind her home at 50 E. Baltimore St.

Bill Heise, Shania's father, said the family will be having a welcome home/birthday party for the girl Sunday. Shania turns 6 on Thanksgiving Day.

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Heise said Monday that Shania would be staying with her grandparents while her health continues to improve instead of at the family home, where several young children live. Heise also said Shania likely will need at least one more operation in the next couple of weeks.

On July 21, Shania was playing behind a van seconds before she was struck, according to witnesses. Heise has said he believed his daughter's hula hoop got caught on the van's spare tire rack, and she was pulled under the van after failing to let go.

Hagerstown City Police officers did not charge the driver.

Shania suffered severe injuries to her head and damage to 75 percent of her brain, Heise said. She has had continued problems with her vision, has acquired diabetes and suffered a bout of meningitis as a result of the incident.

Shania spent about a month at Children's Medical Center in Washington, D.C. For two weeks, she was in an induced coma and nearly was taken off life support at one point.

Heise has hailed Shania's recovery as a "miracle."

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