Music brings 'Songbird' back to life

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Updated: 5/29 2:53 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- There are some who would argue music has the capacity to heal a broken heart, but 13-year-old Giovannia Rodriquez knows it can do a whole lot more.

Her story begins nearly one year ago, after a day at the Truckee River came to an end on July 22nd, Rodriquez was crossing the street when she was struck by a truck.

"I was crossing the street to go back to my dad's house and I can't remember all of it clearly," Rodriquez said.

Her mother, Sarah Herndon, will never forget.

"It was such a severe impact, I mean it was an F-150 pickup truck going 40 miles an hour," Herndon said. "You know, you're first thought is, I've lost her and all you can do is beg, don't let her die."

Immediately Rodriquez's family knew she was severely hurt.

"Her femur was broken and her hip was dislocated and she was going to have to have surgery on that. Her ruptured spleen, we sat in a holding pattern for days on end wondering if they had to remove that or not, and it was 10 days in ICU that were up and down, up and down, and we didn't know," Herndon said.

Surrounded by support, Rodriquez managed to pull through, but her future was uncertain. The doctors told Rodriquez she was never going to walk again. But her Herndon knew no matter what they told the family, her daughter was going to be fine, she said.

Rodriquez's main focus was to get better, to keep up with music and school and try to act normal when she knew that could never happen, she said. With the help of a walker, she slowly defied the odds. Of course, some days were better than others, like when she went back to school for the first time and was teased for her walker.

That's when music picked up, and where she left off.

"My friends and I were hanging around and then they, for once, heard me sing and they were like, wow, you're really good! And I never thought I would be good an singing ever again" Rodriquez said.

Her mom didn't want her to lose her voice because it's part of who she is, "She is my song bird," Herndon said.

Sarah's co-worker Robert Clark, who happens to play lead guitar in the local band, Sil Shoda, couldn't have agreed more.

'"She started to tell me about Gi-Gi's story you know, and it kind of sounded like there was some suppression going on there, and she liked the band, so now there's something we can do about it," Clark said.

A month later, with a little help from Bill Woody at the Musician Rehearsal Center in Sparks, the smile that had been missing for nearly a year has come back, and so has Rodriquez's voice.  Although she knows the road ahead will likely be an uphill battle, thanks to the power of music, this 13-year-old got a chance to feel something she'd been missing--a chance to be normal.



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