As she shows great progress, community rallies to help girl who fell in icy pond


A fundraiser Tuesday evening for Rae’Ana Rosenberg at Blue Spoon Yogurt in East Wenachee raised more than $3,200.

Six-year-old Rosenberg is slowly recovering at Seattle Children’s Hospital after falling into an icy Rock Island pond in February.

A big crowd showed up to show their support with 40 percent of receipts from yogurt purchases, in addition to money from a donation jar, going to help the girl’s family.

Among those at the event were several firefighters and medical personnel who saved the girl’s life.

Blue Spoon says they’ll keep accepting donations through Thursday, so the total is likely to climb higher.

Meanwhile, Rosenberg is nearing another key milestone in her recovery: Her breathing tube could be removed as early as this week, reported Shawn Ballard of Ballard Ambulance.

There is a possibility there is a small hole in her lung that may require patching, he said, but overall she is showing great strides and may be moved from the intensive care unit within the next two weeks.

Ballard said the girl has experienced emotional ups and downs, which he sees as a positive sign that her brain is functioning properly. She also continues to detox from the many drugs she was kept on during the critical stages of her care.

A board made by her brother, allows Rae’Ana Rosenberg to communicate as she prepares to have her breathing tube removed, possibly this week.

Her mother, Becca Shelton, said her daughter paints every day and often winks at her to get her attention. Her brother made her a communications board she uses to express her needs and moods.

Ballard said after her move out of intensive care, the girl would probably spend two more weeks in the hospital for therapy.

Rosenberg walked out onto the ice on the pond Feb. 21, then fell into the water. She spent about 20 minutes with her head under water but was kept near the surface after the hood on her jacket filled with air, which also made her drift out further into the water.

Douglas County Fire District 2 crews quickly arrived at the pond and firefighter Billy Turner went into the water and swam out to her while fellow firefighter Jacob Toevs maintained a tag line that was used to pull Turner and the girl to the edge of the ice.

After several minutes, crews in a Ballard ambulance were able to restore her heartbeat. She was taken to Central Washington Hospital, then later, by air ambulance to Seattle.

Her mother, who has been keeping a vigil at the girl’s bedside, is due to give birth at any time. She said they will return to the Wenatchee Valley when her daughter is able.

“It is mind-blowing the support and outreach and the praying for my little girl (us all),” Shelton said. “I have never felt so much love and peace. She is doing so amazing right now.”

In addition to the Tuesday fundraiser, a Facebook page and a GoFundMe page have been set up to raise money for the family. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Facebook drive had raised just over 2,300 and the GoFundMe drive more than $8,800.