Young accident victim is out of the hospital

By Lynn R. Parks

A young girl injured in the car accident that killed her mother and baby brother has been released from the hospital. But the liver transplant which she needs will have to wait at least six months, until she has fully recovered from the accident. Brianne Gray, 2, left the A. I. duPont Children’s Hospital, Wilmington, Friday. She and her father, Richard Gray, are staying temporarily with Richard’s mother, Mary Carey, Seaford. “Everything is still in the healing process,” said Richard Gray. “But she plays around. She seems to feel pretty good.”

Brianne was injured in the Oct. 18 accident in which her mother, Tanya, and brother, Austin Linden-Jeffrey Gray, 7 months, were killed. The accident occurred on alternate US 13, between Laurel and Seaford. Keith Martin, 27, Fruitland, Md., who was driving the van that collided with Gray’s Oldsmobile, was also killed. Brianne’s brother, Dylan, was also injured in the accident. He was released from Christiana Hospital near Stanton several days later and is living with his father, Ray Abrams, Bridgeville. At the time of the accident, Brianne was top on the liver transplant list, which meant that as soon as a liver became available, she would get it. She was born with biliary atresia. The disease results immediately in jaundice and if untreated, can cause liver damage, cirrhosis and even death.

In the accident, Brianne received a broken skull and broken jaw. Her arm was broken in two places, she suffered from bleeding in her brain and her internal organs, including her liver, were bruised. But she has healed well, her father said. “Her liver went back to the way it was,” he said. On Friday, doctors removed wires that had kept her jaw immobilized while it healed. She is able to eat soft foods like pudding and yogurt, her father said, but she still has a feeding tube in to ensure that she gets adequate nutrition. “We are trying to beef her up, to build up her immune system,” Gray said. Doctors also want to wait on a liver transplant until her jaw and skull are completely healed, he said. “She should be cleared within six months,” he said.

Since the accident, Richard Gray has stayed with his daughter in the hospital. He expects to return to work within the next two weeks. He is a pipe fitter for Fluor Daniel, Seaford, and also works part-time as a welder for Sigma Industries, Selbyville. Brianne has Medicaid, which covers the cost of her regular medical expenses. Gray hopes that expenses as a result of the car accident will be covered by auto insurance. Police have determined that Martin’s van crossed the center line of the road and hit Gray’s car. Toxicology reports, to determine if he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are still pending. But Gray added that the extent to which the auto insurance will pay Brianne’s expenses is yet to be determined. “That is still up in the air,” he said.

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