6 year old Branden Panameno of Longview has spent 5 and a half months in hospitals, trying to learn how to talk and walk all over again. He was hit by a truck back in April while riding his bicycle.
"How ya doing? How ya feeling," meteorologist Mark Scirto greets Branden at the hospital. "Would you like one of my umbrellas?"
Branden may look like a little boy, unable to walk and struggling to communicate. But what his family sees is that each smile, laugh and thought is a miracle.
"He's a fighter. I mean I knew it before but I just had no idea how much. He just keeps going and going. Just proving everybody wrong. It's a miracle that he's here but it's just the greatest thing that he's mentally all back," says Branden's mother Julie.
On April 16th Branden accidentally rode his bicycle into the path of pick-up truck. He was in a coma for months. But when he awoke Branden faced a tough battle. His left leg had to be reattached because a bicycle peddle went through it. It left doctors to wonder if he'd ever walk again.
"It has been draining we've stayed up at the hospital 24 hours a day around the clock," says Branden's mom. "Just the physical therapy has been the hardest thing for me to watch because it was so painful at first."
13 year old sister Brianna is an integral part of his recovery... She's home schooling at the hospital so she can help with his physical therapy. "I know he's going to get better. I know he's going to be walking. I know he's going to be talking. I know he's going to get better because he's improved so much."
"We've grown closer just through all the struggles. It's not just a matter of 'oh Branden's well.' It's so much that we've grown through. That people don't know. They just can't know," says Julie
A neurological problem prevents Branden from speaking for now, but that certainly doesn't stop him from communicating and entertaining. He still thinks girls have the cooties. "You don't like girls? not right now? What about mommy? That's okay. That's a good answer," says Mark.
For the last several weeks Branden's biggest goal was now to learn how to walk again... His hard work is paying off. He still needs help from dad but with each step Branden's body and spirit get a little stronger.