2012 CMN Miracle Child Alexx Mendoza


Alejandra "Alexx" Mendoza was two weeks away from finishing her junior year in High School. She was traveling with her classmates on a compact car when they collided with a sport utility vehicle on May 23, 2011. “I was riding on the right passenger side and I got the worst of it,” said Alexx, touching her head, remembering the day of the accident.


A few minutes after the crash, paramedics arrived. They needed to use the Jaws of Life to extract Alexx from the vehicle, she was severely hurt. Alexx was transported to University Medical Center of El Paso, the only level 1 trauma hospital in the area.


At first, doctors didn’t think Alexx would survive, they even told her parents to start saying goodbye to her daughter. “My kidneys and liver were lacerated, five of my ribs were broken, along with my clavicle and both sides of my pelvis were also broken, and I had severe brain damage.” Alexx went through numerous surgeries, including trephination, in which a hole was drilled into her skull to alleviate the swelling. Machines and tubes helped the 17-year-old breathe, eat and live.


Alexx was in a coma for ten days. During that period, she needed to remain under minimal stimulation, which meant that her family was not allowed to be near her.


After ten days of being separated from her family, Alexx finally woke up from her coma. Unfortunately the crash took a serious toll on her brain. She couldn’t walk, talk or move properly.


Over the next few days, Alexx tried to mouth a few words, without success, for the first days, she would mostly cry. "One day I told her to stop crying.” Said Monica Mendoza, Alexx’s older sister. “She looked at me and gave me a little attitude with her eyes, but then I knew she would be OK. She was going to be herself." It was that attitude - which had gotten the feisty teenager in trouble in the past - that might have helped save her life. She was determined to get better.


After many days of therapy, Alexx finally started to talk again. Her first word was “mom”, “Every time she would talk, we would get all excited,” said Monica.


Alexx manage to recover and went back to school to finish her senior year. On June 12 of 2012 she graduated. She is now studying biology.


“My plan is to finish my bachelors in biology and then enroll into medical school. If it wasn’t for all the doctors at UMC that received me and save my life, I wouldn’t be here.”