MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An 11-year-old girl has a message from her hospital bed for the man who nearly killed her.

A driver hit Shianne Dean as she got off a school bus in Minneapolis last month. Police think he had been drinking.

Dean is getting her voice back, and she has quite the story to tell.

She laid in a coma for ten days after suffering brain damage and internal damage. Her future was all unclear, until she suddenly awoke.

Sitting in a wheelchair, Dean spoke to us in her room at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare room.

“I didn’t know where I was and I was scared, and then I smacked and I kicked the nurse and my papa,” Dean said.

It was a kick that was welcomed by those who so badly wanted her to wake up. And the timing couldn’t have been better for this glorious awakening.

Shianne Dean (credit: CBS)

“So that really was a good day for me, Mother’s Day, and I was so happy because she woke up,” said Latonya Williams, Dean’s mother.

Life for the 11 year old is far from perfect, but it is better. Instead of rounding out the school years, she’s rounding the corners of Gillette Children’s. Instead of quizzes, she’s taking memory tests with her speech pathologist, Sue Toavs.

“Every day I’m seeing some nice positive changes with the word finding, memory, all of it, her talking. She’s eating a regular diet now,” Toavs said.

But there’s a long road ahead. She has a brain injury, a broken leg and has to use a trach tube — but her fighting spirit is intact.

“I am so happy, I am so proud of Shianne and everybody who gave the prayers, the thank yous, everything,” Williams said.

With a smile, Shianne softly says, “Yes, I’m very proud of myself.” And she should be. She survived a brutal accident, a driver plowing into her as she and he sister got off the school bus. Dean says she’s glad that day is behind her.

“I’m just glad that it’s gone and I hope nobody else does that because that’s rude,” she said.

And that’s putting it nicely. Police believe the man who hit her had been drinking and went around a bus. Something she hopes he never does again.

“Going through the surgery and everything, that’s bad, and I also don’t want anybody to go around a bus at all because I know if another family’s child gets hit, they are going to be sad,” Dean said.

Amidst her sadness, she’s finding strength and soon she hopes to find herself enjoying summer.

“Go swimming and eat a lot of watermelon,” Dean said.

There is no clear date on when Dean will be able to leave the hospital. It depends on her trach tube, her leg and the brain injury, but she is strong and she is determined to recover.

Police say they are awaiting toxicology reports to confirm the driver in the crash was drinking. They tell WCCO-TV charges are very likely.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Dean’s family cover their mounting hospital bills.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield