Going home for the holiday

Posted at: 12/11/2012 11:32 AM
Updated at: 12/11/2012 5:32 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

On her father's 49th birthday, an 8-year-old girl who almost drowned in the Erie Canal is flown to her home in Florida.

It is still a long road to recovery for Selah Clanton. She'll be in a rehab facility in Jacksonville for more treatment. The progress she has made here is more than doctors ever expected.

In August, Selah and her brother's stroller fell into the canal. Her brother has already made a full recovery.  

Doctors say they are so happy to see Selah make these improvements, but also part of them is sad to see her go. This discharge was something doctors have tried many times, but something always popped up, making it so Selah wasn't stable enough to be moved.  But on Tuesday, it happened and her parents say there was no greater gift.

Yvonne Clanton, Selah's mom, said, “Very emotional. We came up the same elevator the day I came up with them the day they didn't think she was gonna live.”

Today was a day the Clanton family feared might never come. Their 8-year-old daughter, Selah, was transferred out of the Golisano Children's Hospital and was flown to a rehab center in their home state, Florida. It was 18 weeks ago when while walking along the canal, Jon Clanton lost control of the stroller Selah and her brother, Sam, were in. The stroller fell into the canal and immediately Jon and others near by jumped in to save the children.

Jon Clanton, Selah's father, said, “I'm thankful that my children lived. We could have been in a cemetery rather than a hospital.”

Sam made a full recovery, but Selah was in a deep comma with no signs of improvement for eight weeks. But then after doctors treated Selah with rich Omega-3 Fish Oil, they started to see improvements.

Jon Clanton said, “It's been just like seeing someone come back to live again. From a coma where our daughter is laying in the bed, staring in the ceiling and then seeing responses where she can move her head side to side and look at us.”

Their hope was restored and today their dreams came true. With many thank yous.

Jon Clanton said, “We have not  had to walk the pathway alone.”

And tears of joy.

Yvonne Clanton said, “God, in his mercy, allowed her to begin return to us.”

The Clanton family says goodbye to Rochester and heads back to Florida where they will be by Selah's side during her rehab until she makes a full recovery and is able to go home.
The family has never had more hope that that is possible.

Yvonne Clanton said, “She still has a long way to go, but she is lot further than they've ever expected her to be.”

Selah is still in a light coma, but she can recognize her parents voices and sit up for short periods of time on her own. The rehab in Florida will add to the progress she is already making.

Jacksonville is five hours away from the Clanton's hometown. Family friends of the Clanton's have arraigned for them to stay in an Extended Stay Marriott near the hospital. The Clanton family also plans on coming back to Rochester in August. That will one year since the accident and they say they hope Selah will be able to come and show off even more improvements.