Seward toddler making strides in recovery from car crash

Several months ago, 3-year-old Kallie Zitek of Seward was fighting for her life after a car accident that killed her father.  Now, she's a rambunctious toddler that keeps her family on their toes.

The Zitek family has had some pretty tough times, but they say through determination and lots of love their making it one day at a time. 

As you look at 3-year-old Kallie Zitek you wouldn't think just months ago she almost didn't make it.  In December,  the family was traveling back to their home in Seward from western Nebraska when their car hit a truck head–on during a heavy snow storm.

“I was 27-weeks pregnant at the time.  The most I received was a laceration on the elbow, my husband died on impact and Kallie suffered severe brain trauma,” says Niki Zitek.

Kallie was rushed to the hospital in Kearney where she was put in a drug induced coma.  When her brain continued to swell Niki had to make the tough choice to have doctors surgically remove the bone flaps from her brain, not knowing if her daughter would even make it.

“I couldn't even imagine burying my daughter at the exact same time as my husband that was unbearable for me,” says Niki. 

A month later Kallie moved to Madonna Rehab in Lincoln to start her rehab.  She got to come home at the end of March.  Now, she's making strides literally learning how to walk and talk all over again.

“To go from a rambunctious normal 2-year-old to a 3-year-old who couldn't do anything on her own was really hard to watch, and so when she took those first steps it was just amazing.”

Callie's brother, Lucas, was born with no complications and now is a source of support for his sister.

For Kallie, it's been a long road but through her determination and down right spunk she's making it one step at a time.

Kallie  will continue therapy at Madonna Rehab three times a week, but her mom said she will be starting preschool next month and is excited for her to get to play around with the kids and just be a 3 year old.