Stuti's recovery continues with therapy, friends -- and prayers - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Stuti's recovery continues with therapy, friends -- and prayers

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"We always ask her, 'If you're in there and hear us, give us a thumbs up'," says Stuti's father, A.J. "We always ask her, 'If you're in there and hear us, give us a thumbs up'," says Stuti's father, A.J.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

It's been nearly two months since a Byrd High School senior named Stuti nearly lost her life in a car accident.

She was near death in a coma.

KSLA News 12's Doug Warner took us inside LSU Medical Center as her "waiting room warriors" from Byrd High School -- and beyond -- first began praying for Stuti's recovery.

Since that accident on January 15, her support has grown far beyond Shreveport-Bossier. Thousands have been sharing prayers over the phone, online and in person.

And, her family says, those prayers are being answered.

"We always ask her, 'If you're in there and hear us, give us a thumbs up'," says Stuti's father, A.J. Jawahar.

In the days after Stuti's near fatal accident, the mere movement of her thumb brought joy. Then there was absolute rejoicing.

It's as if she was letting everyone know, her family and her waiting room warriors, that in their minds, recovery is not a matter of if but when.

Stuti is resting comfortably at a local rehab facility. But she's hardly just been sitting around.

"The quicker the active rehab starts, the better the results," her father says.

Several times a day, Stuti continues her fight back through therapy.

"I see her struggling to re-learn basic movements we take for granted."

Just weeks after 'signaling' to everyone, the consensus was that she'd be OK.

"I've never seen her do that before. Beautiful. All on her own."

Stuti can sit up, push herself up, and attempt to follow just about any command she's given.

"She's blowing our goals out of the water, meeting them left and right," says Chuck Thompson, one of Stuti's physical therapists.

But a crash course in retraining the brain again, to do even the simple things, is a scientific long hall.

Stuti is trapped inside a medically healthy and intact body. She is now faced with getting her brain, her muscles and the rest of her body all on the same page.

Stuti's father, a trained neurosurgeon himself, says there is no brain damage. It's just a complicated world of neurons reconnecting.

"When you ask her to do something, she thinks she's done it perfectly. It's just the body is not doing it that perfectly," Jawahar says.

Stuti is being treated at a local facility rather than in Dallas or elsewhere because the family wants her to recover closer to home, where her family, friends, classmates can be in her life every day.

"The more familiar the environment in rehab, the quicker the rehab period," her father says.

Hearing familiar voices means as much to Stuti as her daily therapy, he says. But the one voice that he misses most is Stuti's.

"The biggest thing I miss is her beautiful voice, to call me dad. That would be the most wonderful day of my life."

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