Last July, 7-year-old Xitclalli "Chilli" Vasquez was on her way to the mall for a fun day with her aunt, sisters, and cousin. You can imagine the giggly anticipation as they chattered on their way to get their hair and nails done. Then suddenly, with no warning, a car driven by 21-year-old Jeremy Solis slammed head-on into their car, and left Chilli paralyzed from the chest down, changing her life forever.
It wasn't just an accident either. Solis was drunk. According to the Star-Telegram, his blood alcohol level was 0.23, which is about three times the legal limit.
then Chilli and her family have been through unthinkable hardship and
suffering, and last week Chilli got to tell Solis just what it has been
like, and how his actions have affected her. On the day of his
sentencing, her mother read a powerful letter from the now 9-year-old
that brought the court to tears. It will move you too.
In the hand-written letter Chilli wrote:
There were times that I would cry and cry ... in therapy they showed me how to lift myself and dress myself. But right now it's still very hard. My mom does a lot for me but I try myself. There are days that I cry cause I can't do what I used to. Well, I could keep going but my hand is getting tired. I would like you to meet me and my family ... there are days that are bad because I have a hard time getting around ... Look at what I said and the words I said and tell me how I look and feel. How do you feel today? Do you remember July 9th?
More from The Stir: Mom Billed for Blood Cleanup After Son Killed by a Drunk Driver
Talk about a sobering message.
It's stories like this that chill me to the bone as a parent. How in
one second your child's future is forever changed, and there's nothing
you can do about it. But it's one everyone should hear, especially as we
enter the holiday season where libations flow. That drink just isn't
worth it when you think about children like Chilli whose lives will
never be the same.
As tragic as this story is, however, Chilli's resilience is amazing. The smiles, optimism, and strength she has in the face of it all is incredible. Her two greatest hopes -- that she'll walk again one day, and that Solis, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, will say he's sorry. I hope both come true for her.
The family is also in need of help, as their medical bills currently total $1.6 million. Donations are being accepted, and if you're interested in helping, you can contact the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to see video.
Did this girl's letter move you?
by DixieFlowerNovember 21, 2012 at 9:40 PM
Wow. That letter did bring tears to my eyes.
by pasteeaterNovember 21, 2012 at 9:51 PMThats so sad. Poor little girl. Whats equally bad is her medical bills. It disgusts me that its so high. Like she and her family haven't been through enough.
by mandi0913November 25, 2012 at 4:03 PMMy 12dd lost her daddy and bestfriend my love my life when she was 15 months old to drunk driveing. Noone from that night showed any remorse till my dd start screaming for her daddy outside the court room when she fell and hurt herself. Her daddy was everything to her and she to him. Proudest day of his life was when he held Selena for the first time. I now do victim impact for teenagers and dui drivers doing classes.
by lillucky8November 25, 2012 at 8:20 PMWhat a brave little girl.
Shouldnt the boys insurance be covering the girls medical bills? Most states require car insurance?
November 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM
Yes very moving!!