Last July, a drunk driver hit the car of a Texas woman. In the car was now-9-year-old Xitclalli “Chilli” Vasquez. In the wreck, she was paralyzed from the waist down.
Last Thursday, Xitclalli's letter to drunk driver Jeremy Solis was read aloud in court on the day of his sentencing. The message left the jury in tears.
"I don't remember the first several days. I could not talk, so I had to use my thumb to answer yes or no," read Xitclalli's letter to the drunk driver, according to the Star Telegram. "While I was in ICU I had very bad moments. They take me to Xrays every day, feed me through my gbutton, I had tubes through my mouth and nose."
Read the full letter here (via the Star Telegram).
On July 9, 2011, Solis was driving a stolen car in Fort Worth, Tex., when he crashed into Xitclalli's aunt's car, according to the Star-Telegram. Xitclalli and her sister were on their way to the mall to get their hair and nails done. The girl's aunt sustained a fractured neck and broken leg. Xitclalli, who was 7 years old at the time, was left paralyzed. Solis' blood alcohol level was 0.23 -- almost three times the legal limit.
"There were times that I would cry and cry…in therapy they showed me how to lift myself and dress myself," read Xitclalli's letter, according to ABC News. "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?"
Xitclalli's mother read her daughter's letter, leaving the jury, the judge and Solis in tears. “There was not a dry eye in the courtroom,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Allenna Bangs told CBS DFW. “Everybody from the judge, the bailiffs, I think even the defendant was crying at some point. You could really feel the impact of how much this hurt this family.”
Xitclalli hopes to walk again and hopes, one day, Solis will apologize.
"I hope Jeremy would respond to my letter," she told ABC News. "It will make me happy if he says he is sorry." She plans to send Solis, who pled guilty, more letters while he serves his 10-year sentence.
Now, the Vasquez family needs the help of others. CBS reports:
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office has adopted the Vasquez family for the holiday season. Medical bills have topped $1.6 million and are climbing. Anyone interested in contributing can email Melody McDonald Lanier at firstname.lastname@example.org.