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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Coma girl regains consciousness
The Royal Hospital for Sick Children
Kaya McInnes is being treated in The Royal Hospital for Sick Children
An Edinburgh schoolgirl left fighting for her life after suffering near-fatal head injuries in a car crash has amazed doctors by regaining consciousness.

Kaya McInnes, 13, was left in a coma following the accident in the Highlands, which killed her aunt and uncle and left her father badly hurt.

Now, three weeks after the crash, she has started breathing on her own again and been taken off life support.

Kaya remains at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

Her mother Leonora, sister Lyndsay, 27, and brother Nicky, 34, have kept a constant vigil at Kaya's side since the accident on Saturday 24 March.

I don't even know if she knows I'm her mother, she's not really able to communicate at all
Leonora McInnes
Kaya's mother

Their hopes for her recovery were raised when Kaya was taken off strong sedatives and she squeezed her mother's hand.

Leonora, 52, said it was a step in the right direction but there was still a long way to go.

She said: "She's just not herself. I don't even know if she knows I'm her mother, she's not really able to communicate at all.

"She has been taken off the life support machine and she's breathing on her own now.

"She has regained consciousness, which is certainly an encouragement, and she was able to squeeze my hand but she can't say anything yet.

"All the damage is in her brain. Until she can do some simple tasks, they won't have any way of knowing how severe that damage is, and they have said it is likely to be a matter of months rather than weeks before they will be able to say for sure."

The second year pupil at James Gillespie High School in Edinburgh suffered bleeding and swelling to the brain, a punctured lung, broken ribs and suspected fractured pelvis in the crash.

Her aunt Elizabeth Hall, from Falkirk, and uncle Jim McKinlay, an amateur referee from Edinburgh, died instantly, while her father Duncan suffered cracked bones in his back and broken ribs.

Car crash city schoolgirl in coma
02 Apr 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Young girl 'serious' after crash
27 Mar 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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