Miranda Marshall, a 6-year-old girl from Monett, snuck out of her house with her 11-year-old brother and decided to go ice skating on a frozen pond by her home back in December 2009. In a matter of moments, Miranda's life -- and her family's life -- was forever changed.
Miranda fell through the ice and was submerged in the freezing water. Her brother, Dillon, ran for help, and by the time Miranda's mother, Christine, found her, Miranda had been face down in the water for more than half an hour.
"I saw her floating face down and I jumped in the water," Christine said. "I pulled her out."
Emergency crews were called and Miranda was immediately life-flighted to Cox Hospital in Springfield. Her body temperature was dangerously low, and crews were unable to detect a heartbeat.
"They [the doctors] said she was DOA," Christine said. "It was five hours before they were able to get a pulse."
Despite the critical condition Miranda was in upon her arrival at the hospital and the challenge doctors' faced with getting a heart beat and regulating her body temperature, doctors were able to stabilize Miranda. She was in a coma for four days, and Christine was told to expect the worst.
"The doctors told us she probably wouldn't make it and she would have severe brain damage if she did," Christine said.
But on the fourth day, something miraculous and unexplainable happened.
"Miranda just woke up and started asking for me," said her Christine. "She wanted to know where I was."
Christine said Miranda was saying a few words and was responding well. Miranda remained in the hospital for about three weeks before she was released.
While in the hospital, Miranda was chosen as Kids Wish Network's Hero of the Month for CoxHealth Systems. The program recognizes children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have faced difficult or tragic circumstances and shown great courage. For the award, Miranda was given a $200 gift card, an official Kids Wish Network T-shirt and Hero certificate.
Kids Wish Network is a national charity dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories and improving the quality of life for children. Along with the Hero of the Month program, Kids Wish Network has a wish granting program for children with life-threatening illnesses and a Holiday of Hope department, which donates thousands of dollars worth of new toys to children's facilities across the country.
"Miranda is exactly the type of child we created the Hero program for," said Margo Carther, Kids Wish Network facility coordinator. "Knowing what she's been through and being able to make a difference in her life is what my job is all about."
Christine said Miranda was thrilled about the award.
"They nominated her at the hospital and told us about it. She didn't really know what was going on with the Hero part, but she loved the gift card. She wiped it out the first day," said Christine. "It's a neat program. It helped her with her recovery."
Miranda has since been released from the hospital but continues to do rehabilitation therapy.
"She's doing great," said Christine. "She is still doing therapy and adapting to using her hands. But she is able to brush her teeth and feed herself a little,. She wears her Hero T-shirt to school all the time. We are thankful she is alive."