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A charm that reads ?Best? hangs around Maribel Esquer?s little neck.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

A charm that reads ?Best? hangs around Maribel Esquer?s little neck.

Her friends gave it to her two weeks ago when she returned to school a mere three months after Esquer, 9, was air-lifted to Flagstaff Medical Center?s pediatric intensive care unit following a car accident.

Two other girls have charms — one reads, ?Friends,? and the other, ?Forever.?

Esquer plays with the charm and chain as she talks about her friends at school and those who have come over to play.

She says she?s ?glad to hear them.? Esquer still cannot see.

Esquer suffered life-threatening injuries when she was ejected from a vehicle on Hwy. 89A on Nov. 18. Doctors listed Esquer in very, very critical condition.

Twenty-seven days after the accident, Esquer moved from the PICU to the regular pediatric unit. Thirty-nine days after the accident, Esquer went home.

Esquer has not yet regained her vision — the final piece of the puzzle — but she and her parents are hopeful.

?[She] started seeing a little bit probably two weeks ago,? said Eduardo Esquer, Maribel Esquer?s father.

Maribel Esquer said she can see outlines and movement.

According to Eduardo Esquer, Maribel Esquer?s brain is still healing and specialists told the family they need to wait at least six months for her sight to return.

?Because I got so quick out of the hospital — that?s how my sight is going to be,? Maribel Esquer said.

Esquer jokes about what she does see — dancing animals dressed in human clothing. It?s as if she?s watching her own movie.

Holding her hands in front of her face Esquer held up two fingers, then three, four and five.

?Look. Two, three, four, five,? Esquer said as she raised each finger. She can see, she said with a laugh.

Esquer?s parents, Eduardo and Maribel Esquer, chuckle.

?Thank God everything is coming back to normal,? Eduardo Esquer said, but it has been a tough road — a road Esquer said Sedona residents and other caring people helped the family along.

Fund-raisers at West Sedona School and St. John Vianney Catholic Church along with private donations helped the Esquers through their time of need.

When the accident happened, Maribel Esquer didn?t have health insurance. FMC staff quickly signed her up under Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

While AHCCCS helped with the medical bills, Eduardo and Maribel Esquer spent most of their time in Flagstaff, increasing the financial burden.

Caring people stepped up to help and offer support.

A family from Boston showed up at the hospital to check on Maribel Esquer, Eduardo Esquer said. The Esquers didn?t know the people.

?We say ?thank you? to everybody and we have them in our hearts,? Maribel Esquer said.

Eduardo Esquer is especially grateful for help from FMC, Seven Canyons resort, WSS and Sedona Red Rock High School, among others. There are too many people who helped to name them all, Esquer said.

Maribel Esquer is also very thankful and ready to enjoy her gift of life.

?I?m so happy with God because he left me here for a reason,? Esquer said. ?I think so I can be with my family.?

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