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Young Accident Victim's Account: 'It's Bad to Breathe on a Bridge'

Ten-year-old accident victim Isabella Burzio-Roca recounts the details of the crash and the events that followed.

On July 6, Wentzville Patch posted a short account of an .

On July 8, Paula Roca, one of the victims identified the the story emailed Patch. Roca said that each member of her family has coped with the event in a different way, and she had something to share.

"I was shocked and proud to find out that my 10 year old Bella kept a diary of the happenings on her iPod, typing every 'fact' through her own eyes," Roca said.

Perhaps someday, Roca said, Isabella might become a journalist.

Here is Isabella's story, as told by her. 

The Accident

It all started on the trip to Michigan. My friend Caitlyne told me it was bad luck to breathe on a bridge.

Then this car in front of us got out of control and cut us off. After that all I remember was seeing a bright white light and that's when I thought I was done. I thought we had gone over and was waiting for water to leak into the car.

But then the light vanished and I saw we were still on the bridge. Then there was smoke coming out from the front of the car. My dad yelled GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW!

I looked around for my dog Pretzel (he's a stuffed animal), but the smoke started coming to the back of the car and I had to get out. I decided not to cry. I looked back at the car. The whole front was squished against the bridge wall. I couldn't take my eyes away.

Then I started to feel a burn under my shirt. I lifted it up and I saw two big scratches stretch across my stomach. It was like an animal attacked me. Then I started to see ambulances come to us. A fire fighter came to me.

I looked to my side and I saw a lady (who claimed to be a nurse) helping my mother and brothers. Lucca was beside me. He started to cry. I felt the bridge shake and I felt like it was going to collapse. But when the firefighter came to me he asked "what's your name?" I replied "Bella” and he asked me all different questions like: how old are you? How much do you weight? How tall are you? And then he put me on something that looked like a big yellow surf board.

Then he called over a few more firefighters. They both picked up the board and slid me onto a stretcher and then they put me into an ambulance and I asked the lady if I could sleep and she said "No you must stay awake". It was hard to stay awake but then they put on a neck brace.

I saw my mom wheeling into the same ambulance. Then they gave us a lot of shots but I still didn't cry. I could barely feel it. Then in about ten or five minutes we were in the hospital. They gave me a medicine called morphine. It helps the pain. And then the Dr. put medicine in some Gatorade and had me drink it.

Then I saw my mom come in. She still had her neck brace on but I got mine off before we came in to the hospital. My stomach hurt still so much. Then they took my mom to another room to get a cat scan. I got x-rays. It hurt a bit because they had to lift me up and put a board under me.

Then after that Franco came in. He was fine but a little bit sore and still in shock. Then it was my turn to get a cat scan. I was more open to the nurse then I thought I would be. I felt very dizzy. Then we got to the CAT scan room and it looked like a big square doughnut. Then they flipped me onto a different bed that was hooked onto the CAT scan. Then this computer would tell me to do stuff like lift my arms or hold my breath. When my stomach was in the CAT scan this green light would circle around me very quickly. Then I was done after maybe five times in and out of the CAT scan.

Then I went into a different room. That's when Elaine Gabby and Andrea showed up. They are my mom’s friends from work. Then my mom had to go to the bathroom but she had to use a bed pan. She thought it had flooded. Then my dad was able to come into the same room. Then the girls came back in. They had left so my mom could pee in private. Then they started talking about where Lucca and Franco were going to sleep because they both were good enough to go home. But Lucca’s neck still hurt a bit. So Elaine would take them to her house and she would care for them.

But my mom would spend the night in the hospital. Then I fell asleep and took a nap for about an hour or so. After I woke up I had to go to the bathroom. They said I could walk to the bathroom and I thought I could too. But when I sat up I could barely move. So they brought a little toilet to me. I got up very slowly and carefully sat on the toilet and went. But then after I got up I looked in the toilet and there was some kind of dirt in the toilet and then looked at my bed and there was dirt on there too.

At first I didn't care put when I sat on the bed my stomach started to turn and I tried to go to the trash can but my dad asked me way I needed but all I could say was "daddy trash can, I need daddy the trash can" and then he got it just in time when I threw up. Some of it landed on the floor and on my gown a little bit but then they changed me. Now I'm wearing a bright blue gown. I used melted ice chips to gargle my mouth.

Afterwards another stretcher came in. They put another neck brace around me and they helped me onto the stretcher. I was going to Cardinal Glenn children hospital. Apparently I had fluid in my abdomen or something. It was about a twenty/twenty-five minute drive. Then when we got there they put me on a table. They were touching my stomach and it hurt badly. Then they gave me this fluid (because I couldn't drink) and it was supposed to keep me hydrated. It felt like an ice pack was on my arm. But it made me less thirsty. Then I had to wait about two hours just for a room to be free. Then about thirty minutes to clean and get it ready. Then they put me back on a stretcher and wheeled me up to my room.

Then I started writing this journal and fell asleep. The next day I woke up and my stomach felt worse so they gave me more morphine. There were so many people touching my stomach and asking if it hurt. Then they said I might have surgery on my stomach so I can't eat. But they might give me something to drink. Then they said I might spend the night again. The next day I woke up feeling fine. I watched movies like Rango and Puss in Boots.

Then my dad said he was going to be gone for an hour to go pick up mom from the other hospital. Then instead of my dad helping me I went to the bathroom all by myself. Then I took a nap and when I woke up my mom was in the room. She saw me and started to cry tears of joy, I started to cry too. I hadn't seen her in two days, so I understand why she would cry. After that, mom and dad went up to the cafeteria and got food. It was hospital food so it wasn't so great. But they had fruit and the fruit was fine.

I had to go to the bathroom again. The nurse unhooked me and I went to the bathroom all by myself again. My mom asked if I had walked around and I said no. I saw an easel wall outside and had written on it. I drew a picture of a mermaid and a close up of a face.

Then a nurse came by with papers. I was ready to be discharged. When I went into the room the nurse had to take out my IVs. The first one made me feel so dizzy. I had to lay on the bed. And when she took out the other one I started to cry. It hurt so bad.

After that I wanted to ride in a wheelchair. But there were none around so I rode in a wagon. Then when we got into the main lobby they had wheelchairs so I rode in one of those. Then my mom wheeled me over to the car and helped me in.

Then we drove to the place where our car got towed. The car was squished. My mom found Pretzel In the back seat and right now we are driving home. I can't wait to see my friends and my family. I just can't wait!

By Isabella Burzio-Roca
10 years old.

Ray Antonacci July 10, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Great Journal, Isabella! I'm sure this will help other kids to know what happens if your in a car accident. I'm glad you weren't hurt too bad.
Ashley July 10, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Bella! You are a shining star!! I'm so very proud of you for writing such a moving article. Your family is very special to me and I'm happy you are all okay! I'm so sorry you had to experience such a traumatic experience. It sounds like your spirit of an angel shined through it all! You are one of the sweetest children I have met. I'm so glad Jillian has a you for a best friend/ sister. I love you!
Sarah July 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Amazing! Great information for kids. Such a brave little girl :) I am so glad you found Pretzel!!
Rodrigo Miyake July 10, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I'm glad that you are all allright! Accidents are so scary. I could imagine all by your story. I been with a lot of pacients as firefighter here in Chile; you are very brave! I know very well how the hospitals are, and how the threatments are. It was very nice to hear the story form you! Please say hello to you family for me!
Alaine July 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Bella, I am so proud of you for being such a brave girl. Your story put it into reality exactly what happened on that bridge and how scary it can be when you have a bad accident. I am so glad you and your family are okay. The O'Briens
Jamie Barr July 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Hi Bella, you should be very proud of yourself that you did the one thing that most adults have trouble doing during an accident: staying calm. You were able to keep your emotions under control and remember all the details of these few days. It makes us all remember that God looks out for those of us in need. I'm so glad you and your family are all ok and doing well. I see a school newspaper/yearbook writer in you. Great article and thanks for sharing!!
Megan Scanlon July 10, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Bella, babygirl, I miss you so much. I am so glad you're okay, Sweetheart. Your writing here is absolutely fantastic. I am so proud of you. You have been so brave and I wish I could give you the biggest hug in the world. I love you with all my heart and I will see you sometime soon.
TATA CHU July 10, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Our Dear, dear Bellita, We are so impress, proud and happy after reading your beautiful letter describing the accident and the way you did describe your feeling and the way you saw what was going on around you in the most critical moments and your care for the family and the little dog. We love you for this and for many other things. Bellita you make us cry, not only for the accident description, but also because you also described so clearly this new experience and the love for your Mon, Dad and your brothers. In summary, you are just a brilliant and beautiful little girl. We are so proud. I’m dreaming that in the very near future you will became a wonderful writer and I hope to have the opportunity to read those assays, tales and why not books. God bless you and your family. Love for you all. Mucho amor de tus abuelos que están tan lejos peor que te quieren mucho. Big and lots of kisses, Chulita and Tata Chu
Kathy Tyrrell July 10, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I'm so proud of you, Bella! You were so brave through this whole thing! Your perspective made me laugh and cry at the same time! We are all so blessed that you are all still with us!!! Love you to bits!
Barbara Scanlon July 11, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Oh Bella! You are an amazing little girl and so brave throughout the whole event! I'm very impressed with all the details of your story. It is something you will always remember. God Bless You and Your Family! :)
Paulina Bugyis July 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Bella... I just learned what happened to you and your family...so glad everybody is fine. You are so brave...it made me cry to know what you all went through. And...you keep writting girlfriend!
Elaine Curran July 11, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Bella, You never cease to amaze me! I am in awe of you! Everything you do, you do the best. Your bravery shines through your story, and I will never forget how brave you were in the ER and hospital. If I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like you. You and your family are very dear to me, and I thank God for bringing you into my life. Love you, Elaine
Gladys Misle July 11, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Bellita: realmente eres hermosa por fuera y por dentro; queremos felicitarte, pero a la vez gradecer tus relatos de aquel dia en el puente, nos hiciste participes del accidente, pudimos sentirnos mas cerca de ustedes, comprender mejor como se sucedieron los acontecimientos y darnos cuenta del magnifico don que tienes. de sentir, mirar, retener, recordar y narrar con tal certeza y tanto detalle lo acaecido. Si, seguramente seras periodista, escritora o algo afin a ello; pero lo mas hermoso fue sentir el gran amor por tus papis y hermanos y hasta por Pretzel. Recordare que cuando pase por un puente no debo respirar. Que los papis guarden como un preciado tesoro el articulo del diario y que puedas enseñarselo a tu descendencia "El Primer Articulo Publicado por Isabella Burzio Roca. Felicitaciones de tus orgullosos abuelos Tata To y Oma Laly.
Gladys Misle July 11, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Bellita: realmente eres hermosa por fuera y por dentro; queremos felicitarte, pero a la vez gradecer tus relatos de aquel dia en el puente, nos hiciste participes del accidente, pudimos sentirnos mas cerca de ustedes, comprender mejor como se sucedieron los acontecimientos y darnos cuenta del magnifico don que tienes. de sentir, mirar, retener, recordar y narrar con tal certeza y tanto detalle lo acaecido. Si, seguramente seras periodista, escritora o algo afin a ello; pero lo mas hermoso fue sentir el gran amor por tus papis y hermanos y hasta por Pretzel. Recordare que cuando pase por un puente no debo respirar. Que los papis guarden como un preciado tesoro el articulo del diario y que puedas enseñarselo a tu descendencia "El Primer Articulo Publicado por Isabella Burzio Roca. Felicitaciones de tus orgullosos abuelos Tata To y Oma Laly.

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