Kansas girl injured in Father’s Day crash not expected to walk again

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 8:39 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A young girl injured in a Sunday night car crash likely will not walk again.

It’s heartbreaking for her mother, Shawna Bledsoe, who remained at her daughter’s bedside Tuesday night at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

“Zoey is nothing but full of life,” Bledsoe told 13 NEWS. “She loves dancing and singing.”

Bledsoe said Zoey, 6, and her brother Zackory, 5, spent Father’s Day with their dad, Jimmy Landis. He was driving Sunday night on Burlingame Road when the car went off the road and rolled.

“All I got told was you need to go to the hospital. The kids were in a car accident - and my heart just dropped,” Bledsoe recalls of the phone call she received that night.

Bledsoe says her daughter’s spinal cord was stretched at the top and middle with ligaments broken in both places. Zoey underwent surgery Tuesday at Children’s Mercy Hospital to place rods and a plate at the base of her skull.

“Luckily, she has maintained upper body movement, but without a miracle of some kind, she won’t walk again,” Bledsoe said. “That’s very hard to hear as a mother.”

Bledsoe says Zoey was more responsive later in the day Tuesday, but is still on a breathing tube, and swollen. She’s not out of the woods yet.

“To see your little baby with so many tubes and IVs is very scary,” Bledsoe said. “I’m a little bit more positive today just because I see her spunk, and all that is Zoey is still there.”

Still, while Zackory walked out of Stormont Vail Hospital Tuesday, Zoey’s life is likely forever changed. Jimmy Landis, remains jailed on charges including aggravated child endangerment, aggravated battery, and driving under the influence. Court records show he had four prior DUI convictions, the most recent from a 2017 arrest.

It’s why Bledsoe hopes people hear her message.

“He got in the car thinking nothing bad would ever happen. Too many people think that nothing could go wrong when they have a drink or two and get in the car, but it just takes the smallest thing to destroy your entire world,” she said. “I just hope more people - they need to hear that and understand that.”

Landis remained at the Shawnee Co. Jail Tuesday night on a $40,000 bond. His next court date currently is set for October 6, but formal charges are not yet filed.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe to help the family with medical expenses. To donate to that GoFundMe, click HERE.

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