Santa Barbara- S County

Santa Barbara teen injured during powerful microburst walking and talking again

Student Battles Back

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara teen seriously injured during a powerful microburst on Sept. 3 is out of her hospital bed, walking and talking again.

16-year-old Alyssa Nuno was hanging out at West Beach when a thunderstorm packing 80 miles per hour winds swept up surfboards, kayaks, umbrellas and beach gear, sending them flying down the beach and into the air.

One or more of those objects hit Nuno, knocking her unconscious, breaking multiple bones and fracturing her skull.

She's undergone several surgeries at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

"Right now she has plates in her collarbone," said mom Sandra Alamillo. "Her right wrist was fractured. She has pins in it.”

In the last few days, Nuno got up out of bed and is walking with assistance. She is able to recall many details about her life, work and school.

"She remembers her schedule of classes. She remembers her teachers. She remembers when she got paid," said Alamillo. "That was one of her big questions when she started becoming a little bit more aware of her surroundings."

Nuno does not recall the accident that nearly claimed her life, but Alamillo said every day her daughter continues to progress.

"She’s up and moving around right now," she said. "So, she has therapy every day and she is holding full conversations and eating regularly now. Every day she gets a little better and does a little more walking.”

Nuno is moving to another unit in the hospital to begin daily intense physical, occupational and speech therapy. Alamillo said if everything goes according to plan, Nuno could be back home in Santa Barbara in two weeks. The hope is for Alyssa to resume classes at Dos Pueblos High School.

Nuno still needs major reconstructive surgery on her face, but doctors are waiting until she is mentally and physically ready.

In the meantime, the popular teen is working hard to regain what she's lost. But, her sense of humor and contagious joy are still going strong, as Nuno sings down the hallways and in her hospital room.

"That’s her. She’s a strong kid and I think people who know her, they know she’s always loved to sing," Alamillo said.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Nuno. To donate, click here.

Dr. Jeffrey Upperman from Children's Hospital Los Angeles released the following statement to KEYT:

"Alyssa is considered a poly-trauma patient with multiple injuries including traumatic brain injuries and bone fractures. As a free-standing Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, we treat a large number of severely injured children so Alyssa's injuries are not uncommon to us, even if how she sustained them is. She's making great progress and is working with the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Inpatient Rehabilitation team to get stronger. She's doing much better than she was two weeks ago, she's walking now and her personality has reasserted itself. She still has at least several weeks of therapy ahead of her, maybe more, but we are encouraged by her progress, both mentally and physically."


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