Girl who fell in icy pond took big steps toward recovery this week

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It has been a week of slow but steady progress for Rea’Ana Rosenberg, the 6-year-old girl who fell into an icy Rock Island pond.

Thursday, surgeons were able to remove a clot near her heart and today took her off the ECMO that was being used to circulate her blood, her mother, Becca Shelton, reported.

The ECMO was installed because of problems with her lungs. She also has been taken off medications that were being used to keep her sedated.

“This is one of those few times when they say they are taking someone off of life support that we celebrate,” said Shawn Ballard of Ballard Ambulance.

Last Sunday, the girl said her first word since the accident, responding “sure” when asked a question, her mother said.

Today, said Shawn Ballard of Ballard Ambulance, her mother told Rae’Ana she was tougher than all the boys and the girl responded “I know.”

Ballard said Rae’Ana continues to communicate with the staff and her family and has been getting more active, including counting with her fingers and giving high fives.

Rae’Ana has been at Seattle Children’s Hospital since firefighters rescued her from the pond after she had been in the water at least 20 minutes.

Earlier reports were that she was showing normal brain activity, which had been a serious concern with someone who was under water as long as she was.

Efforts to help her family with expenses on GoFundMe and Facebook pages have raised more than $10,000 combined.

Blue Spoon Yogurt in Wenatchee will be aiding that effort Tuesday evening from 6 to 8:30 by donating 40 percent of all sales and tips to the family.

Ballard, an EMT who helped bring Rae’Ana back to life, said he and several firefighters who took part in her rescue will be at Blue Spoon to show their support for the family.