On December 16th, 19-month-old Ava Delricco and her mother, Ann Marie were driving home from buying stamps for their Christmas cards when their day took a turn for the worst.
The two were stopped at a red light on coastal highway in Ocean City when a truck slammed into their car at excessive speeds—sending both vehicles 100 feet from the intersection.
“It was a miracle that two people came out of that car,” said George Delricco, baby Ava’s father.
Ann Marie suffered a broken arm, a concussion and three mini-strokes and Ava was flown to Johns Hopkins Children's Center with life-threatening injuries.
Ocean City Police arrested the driver of the truck, 47-year-old Andre James Kaczynski and charged him with driving while under the influence of drugs—after sobriety tests were taken, and PCP was found in his truck. Kaczynski has two prior cases of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
While at Hopkins, Doctor George Jallo discovered Ava had a large blood clot between her skull and brain. “Her brain was actually swelling right in front of our eyes,” he said.
“I really was not sure that she was going to make it,” the pediatric neurosurgeon said.
But, Ava defeated all the odds and survived surgery. Over the past month, she has opened her eyes and can now breathe on her own. “To hear her voice for the first time, even though it was a cry, was awesome,” Delricco said.
“It's a miracle she's recovered,” Dr. Jallo said.
“It's pretty breathtaking,” the baby’s father said.
Dr. Jallo says Ava has a long road ahead, and her brain functionality remains unknown, but her father is optimistic. “Hopefully she makes 100% recovery- that's what I'm expecting- wouldn't expect anything less from where she's come from,” Delricco said.