Resilient 6-Year-Old Defies Odds After Weeks-Long Coma: 'We’re Getting Our Little Girl Back'

Posted By NBC Chicago 5




A young north suburban girl has defied the odds after a horrific accident last year.

Six-year-old Leah Dinchak was hit by a van last August— falling into a coma for weeks. In October, she spoke to NBC 5 for the first time since waking up. Now she’s walking again.

Even she knows—her progress—is nothing short of amazing. “I felt good the last time I saw you guys, but now I feel like, great,” she said. iza Meiksins, Leah's physical therapist, says her patient is progressing well. “Now she’s going at these faster speeds, not holding on, no braces," Meiksins said. Jenni Dinchak, Leah's mother, is ecstatic. “We’re getting our little girl back," she said.



It was just six months ago—Leah— who was five at the time— slipped into a coma after being hit by a van while crossing a street in Lindenhurst. Her mother Jenni and father Blake waited bedside for her to wake up. When she did— she had to learn how talk, write, and walk again. Doctors weren’t sure how her brain injury would ever allow her to be the fierce young lady she was growing up to be. "She’s quite sassy," Jenni said. "She definitely knows what she wants ... sometimes it’s actually a struggle but we would much rather it be that way than not have any personality at all."

Asked if she was ready to go back to school, Leah was enthusiastic. "Yes," she said. "Meet all my friends. We’re going to school one hour a day or two hours a day." She'll be back in the classroom as early as next month. The Dinchak family is even taking their first vacation after the accident. They're headed for Disney World this weekend.


Let's get connected.

Request an appointment