DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) – It should’ve ended like any other track meet, but teacher and coach Amber Johnson’s car was struck as she was leaving St. Teresa High School on April 29. The injuries left her in a coma for over a month.
“It is hard to see this happen to Amber as she’s one of the most selfless people I know,” her older brother Zachary Johnson said. “Based on her determination, she will be the one to figure out what her recovery will look like, and where she will be at the end.”
24-year-old Johnson’s fiancé and family watched her slowly improve, until finally – she opened her eyes.
“She’s continuing to follow doctors’ and nurses’ commands. It is amazing to see my sister’s eyes again; our family is so ecstatic,” Zachary Johnson said.
He said over the past week, her abilities and awareness have increased, and her recovery looks “promising.”
“We’ve seen her in the sports that she’s played – the grit that she has. We’ve seen her in the classroom as a teacher who also is giving back to her community at St. Teresa,” he said.
The community has since returned Amber Johnson’s favor. They’ve held prayer services, sold t-shirts and raised over 70,000 dollars to help cover medical bills.
“There are people that may never have even spoken to us, and we think of you every day. We thank all of you for everything that you’ve done throughout this. We appreciate it,” Zachary Johnson said.
He said waking up was a small victory; there’s still a long road ahead. Amber Johnson will soon be moved to a rehabilitation facility where she’ll keep fighting.
“Again, we’re on her time. So we’ll see what she determines for us,” he said.
If a benefit event is held in the future, he said they would like to wait until his sister can attend so she can see how many people have stood by her side.
He said the best way people can continue supporting Amber Johnson is through their kind thoughts and prayers. If you’d like to keep up with her journey, the family posts updates to a Facebook page called “Amber’s Army.” If you’d like to donate, you can visit their fundraiser page.