Mother unable to speak of accident
When physician Jay Shake halted his Wednesday morning commute to resuscitate a little girl caught in a brutal Interstate-94 crash in Woodbury, the girl's mother was beside him, uttering one wish:
"I just don't want her to die this way."
On Friday, Khadra Ali's hopes were dashed. Her 4-year-old daughter, Sumalya Kalid, died at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
"I did see a (scan) of her head. I knew she had a long battle. You try to give her the best chance, but unfortunately the cards were played already," said Shake, who was able to stabilize and clear Sumalya's airway before ambulances arrived at the scene. At the time, Sumalya had been in full cardiac arrest.
Ali, 37, of Woodbury, remained unable to talk about the crash, according to Omar Jamal, of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center.
"She's devastated," he said.
Jamal added that his organization wished to hold an event next week thanking Shake, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Regions Hospital, for his efforts.
"It sends a message that the Somali community is part of and connected to the mainstream community in this state. If something happens to you, anyone close to you will step up and do something," Jamal said. "It was very touching and very compassionate. We cannot express the words for how thankful we are to him."
Shake said Friday that he was deeply affected by the death.
"Especially as the father of three children. I thought we gave her the best chance," he said.
"There is nothing more horrendous than having your daughter die in front of your eyes."
According to the State Patrol, Ali was westbound on I-94 at Radio Drive, when she stopped in the center lane and was rear-ended by a semi truck. Her other daughter, Abyan Kalid, 1, who was also in Ali's Toyota Camry, was not injured.
Jamal said Friday that Ali still has not spoken about the crash or been able to explain what happened.
"We tried to talk to her, but she's so emotional, we thought we'd give her a few days," Jamal said. "(The crash) doesn't meet logic."
Tad Vezner can be reached at 651-228-5461
Source: Poineer Press, Mar 15, 2008