Ten years ago on January 13, 2011, 6-year-old Misael Rico and his mother, Paola, made plans to go to Misael’s favorite park and have lunch with his grandmother later that day. Sadly, they were unable to fulfill those plans. While walking to Farine Elementary School, Misael and his mother were struck by a car. His parents remember that day vividly. “I panicked and I immediately began looking for Misael but couldn’t find him,” says Paola. “He was underneath the car.”
His father, Misael Rico Sr. remembers getting the call at work that something had happened to his wife and son. “It was a terrible day,” he says, recounting that day.
Misael spent 3 months in a coma after the accident, which resulted in double vision and hearing loss for the then 6-year-old. Life for this family changed forever.
“At the time Misael was our only child, and it was like having a newborn,” says his father. “We had to reteach him to walk, eat and talk.”
It’s safe to say that through perseverance, they succeeded. Now, Misael is a bubbly and bright 16-year-old sophomore with good grades and goals for the future.
“I’m so proud to be here. I’m in the 10th grade and in two years I plan to go to college and major in communications and journalism,” says Misael. “I have goals that I’m going to accomplish no matter what it takes.”
When speaking about her son, Paola says she wants people to know that despite what happened to Misael, he’s a happy teen who treats others with kindness. “Misael is always positive and he never gives up,” adds his father.
After seeing so many reports on the news about other children in the DFW area that experienced the same thing he did, Misael decided to take a stand. With the help of his supportive family, they launched United Voices Alive (UVA) to advocate for safe driving.
“A life is worth much more than a text,” says Misael. He hopes his story can inspire drivers everywhere to take more precautions when behind the wheel and teach readers the importance of never giving up.