Posted at: 04/15/2013 10:08 AM
By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Heaven Mojica was just two years old when she beaten so badly by her mother's ex-boyfriend, doctors didn't expect her to live.
Now, nine years later at age 11, she's thriving with her adoptive mom and overcoming the challenges of a traumatic brain injury.
Mojica is a miracle by all accounts. When asked how to draw a picture of Heaven she said, "I draw a picture of me."
She's a survivor with so much love to give.
"I'm thankful for everyone in here, yet." And she loves to laugh. We first met Heaven in 2005. Even then, her charitable spirit was alive, unscathed by a tumultuous path.
"I had many surgeries," Heaven said. "I had brain surgery, eye surgery, hip surgery and leg surgery."
Heaven was severely beaten by her mother's former boyfriend, Joseph Chavez. Half of her brain was removed.
"They said she's probably not going to survive and if she does, she'll be paralyzed, blind and a vegetable," said Mona Mojica.
She and Heaven's grandfather adopted her. He's since passed away. Now Mona has sole custody.
"I've been very blessed to have Heaven be part of my life." But, it hasn't always been an easy road. "She had to learn to eat, she had to learn to swallow, she had to learn to talk, she had to learn to walk," said Mojica.
"Heaven is still like a sponge, learning, absorbing." Doctors don't know how far Heaven will progress. "They did warn us that there may be a point where she hits a wall," Mojica added.
Right now Heaven is in 6th grade. Part of her education is focused on community living.
"She can learn to do grocery shopping, she can learn to cook, do laundry, she can learn to do all these things because we want her to be as independent as possible. We take it day by day, step by step."
Joseph Chavez is currently serving an 18 year sentence for Heaven's abuse. Her biological mom; Antoinette Mojica; served five years’ probation.
If you want to help prevent child abuse, The New Mexico Child Abuse Prevention Partnership is having a fundraiser, Saturday, April 20th.
Tickets to The Precious Gems Gala are $100. It's a night of dinner, dancing and a silent auction. For tickets, visit: http://nmcapp.unm.edu/events/preciousgems.html