MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the children involved in a deadly pond accident in St. Louis Park, Minn. is taking a big step towards recovery.
Six-year-old Zarihana Rennie is expected to have her breathing tube removed on Monday. Her mother, Shaniece Thompson, sees it as a sign that her daughter’s health is improving.
Zarihana was among the five children who were in a car driven by Marion Guerrido, when it plunged into a retention pond near Highway 7 and Highway 100 on Nov. 21.
The children spent at least 25 minutes submerged in freezing cold water before they could be pulled to safety.
Two of the children died.
Zarihana was the worst off of the three surviving children. She remained in critical condition as the other two survivors, 5-year-old Amani Coleman-Guerrido and 1-year-old Aliyana Rennie, showed signs of improvement.
Thompson tells WCCO that Zarihana is “making great progress.” She’s responding to questions from both her mother and nurses by nodding her head. Thompson was there when Zarihana first opened her eyes just days ago.
“It was a relief. I didn’t know if she’d ever open her eyes again,” Thompson said.
Thompson said her daughter will remain in the hospital for the time being.
While Zarihana is showing signs of progress, there are still challenges that the little girl will need to overcome.
Thompson said Zarihana remains on dialysis to help her kidney function and still has a blood clot.
Thompson also said she has heard an explanation as to why Marion Guerrido was driving in St. Louis Park that morning.
Thompson has been in contact with her children’s father, her ex-boyfriend, who is dating Guerrido.
Thompson said, she was told, that Guerrido was dropping off her boyfriend at work.
Thompson’s other daughter 5-year-old Zenavia Rennie and Guerrido’s 7-year old son, Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, were laid to rest this weekend.
If you would like to help the family, there is a memorial for Thompson’s children set up at Wells Fargo Bank under the Zari and Zen memorial trust.
A family friend of Guerrido’s says her surviving children are also improving.