Nov 28, 2016 Reported here. Video here. 'I went to Heaven,' says 10-year-old after returning from 'death' - Life before death sprang a nasty surprise on Amber Rose Kordiak. When she was just seven years old, a 600-pound tire fell on top of her in July 2013. It was awful, as it crushed the delicate bones in her face.
Her parents feared the worst. Amber Rose's injuries were so terrible that even the paramedics were shocked. "They were standing there with their mouths open, they were frozen, they weren't moving," her mother, Jen Kodiak, recalled Amber was taken to a Twin Cities hospital, where she seemed to have lost so much blood that the little body was in shock. Fortunately, the organs remained intact and did not shut down. Immediately she was sent in for surgery and fell into a coma.
Was she going to live or die? It turned out to be both! She was alive because she awoke, of course. But after opening her eyes, she told her mother, Jen Kordiak, that she had "been to heaven". Later, Jen said: "I think she probably did die; I don't know how she made it." Amber had said: "When I went to heaven, I saw light beams of prayers coming up to heaven." Jen said that her daughter had followed "bright lights and beams of prayers".
The dead girl was gazing down on herself after she had the accident and actually watched her father pulling off the tire from her body. Jen told KSTP: "She said, 'Mommy, I floated up out of my body and I saw dad holding me. He pulled the tire off me.'" She added: "She was happy in heaven. She says she could see us and could reflect on our heartache and regret and chose to come back to this world." After three years, Amber narrated everything that happened. She confessed to her parents that she "had decided to come back to Earth" because she "didn't want her family to be sad". It was her choice, therefore, to live.
A number of surgeries have helped to restore her face, although many bones have crushed her facial bones beyond repair. In order to get back her vision, her orbital bone needs to be restored, while her nose too has to be rebuilt so that she can breathe again. Her jaw, teeth and nerves also have to be repaired and she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Amber has gone through a battery of surgeries bravely and is getting back some order into her face from Mayo Clinic. Jen said: "I just love what she teaches us about love and people and mercy and beauty and she doesn't even know she does it. ...When it first happened they told us our baby girl would never smile again, and her smile was amazing from day one. She defied odds, and said, 'I can't frown, but I can smile' and that's what happened."
Nov 15, 2016 Reported here. After a freak accident and near-death experience, 10-year-old girl smiles again - Ten-year-old Amber-Rose Kordiak is smiling again, a feat that seemed impossible after an accident that left her face sliced in half. In 2013, she and her family were relaxing on their Minnesota farm on a summer night when her dad stepped outside to work on a tractor. Amber-Rose, then 7, went to join him and say goodnight to her cats.
A 600-pound tractor tire that needed repair was propped against the barn wall. Amber-Rose's dad warned her not to go near it, but the little girl thought it would be fun to walk through it. “All I could hear was my husband scream,” Jen Kordiak, Amber-Rose's mom, told TODAY. “I ran out there and he was just holding her. Her face was completely in half. Basically, the top under her eyes was hanging down. You could just see her eyes and this huge gaping hole.”
When the massive tire tipped over and fell on top of Amber-Rose, the metal rim cut through her face, severing bones, muscles and nerves. There was nothing holding her upper jaw to her eye sockets — imagine the silhouette of Pac-Man, Kordiak said. After trying to stop the bleeding, Kordiak scooped up her daughter and ran to the family van. As she sped down a rural road to meet the ambulance, her husband held Amber-Rose’s face together. “I just said, we’re going to do this, we’re going to save her. I can’t lose my baby,” Kordiak recalled. A helicopter airlifted the 7-year-old to a hospital. She lost so much blood that her body went into shock. “The thing I kept hearing is that no one has ever lived through an injury this extensive,” Kordiak said.
Amber-Rose’s right eye socket was completely shattered, leaving just a void. The bones forming her nose were gone. Her upper jaw, the maxilla, was completely severed. She had a dislocated right jaw joint and a broken lower left jaw. Part of right cheekbone was gone. She suffered a brain injury in the violent fall.
Doctors weren’t sure she would survive, but the little girl pulled through. When Amber-Rose woke up from an induced coma, her family didn’t think she would remember anything. But she told them she was aware of what was happening. “She said, ‘Mommy, I floated up out of my body and I saw dad holding me. He pulled the tire off me,’” Kordiak recalled. “She said she saw hundreds of light beams of prayers from everybody around the world praying for her to live. She was happy in heaven.”“She says she could see us and could reflect on our heartache and regret… and chose to come back to this world.”
A long recovery lay ahead. Amber-Rose needed a tracheostomy tube to breathe. Various doctors tried to use metal plates to repair her face, but some became infected and caused major issues, her mom said. People stared at the little girl whose right eye was two inches lower than her left. In December of 2015, the family began treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Surgeons there used a 3-D model of her skull to plan Amber-Rose’s facial reconstruction, which included an 18-hour surgery in July. “It’s a complicated injury,” said Dr. Uldis Bite, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is leading the team helping Amber-Rose. “She’s had multiple operations before coming here, some of which have not worked out as well as the people doing them had hoped.”