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Family keep vigil over Bubba

KATASHA M CCULLOUGH
Last updated 05:00 29/07/2014
Te Rina-Ataahua Hemana
ROAD TO RECOVERY: Te Rina-Ataahua Hemana, 12, who is still recovering in Starship Hospital after an accident in July, and brother Haki-Raniera Anderson, 13, earlier this year.

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Hit-and-run survivor Te Rina-Ataahua Hemana is looking forward to playing netball when she can walk again.

The 12-year-old spent more than a week in an induced coma after an accident on July 2 and is still recovering in Starship Children's Hospital.

Mum Charlene Hemana lives in Northcote and has been sharing shifts with her older daughters so someone is by Te Rina's side 24/7.

Te Rina, called Bubba by her family, has a traumatic brain injury, fractured pelvis, femur, radius and ulna, degloved left knee, tendon damage to her right knee, a spleen laceration and a collapsed lung.

She faces another four weeks in hospital followed by rehabilitation.

Te Rina and brother Haki-Raniera Anderson, 13, were both students at Tauraroa Area School, about 25 kilometres outside of Whangarei.

Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett says the crash happened at 3.40pm, after Te Rina got off the school bus which had stopped on Mangapai Rd.

She then walked across State Highway 1 and was hit by a car.

Kennett says police are still investigating. She says the driver of the car didn't stop at the scene but was located a short time later.

Charlene Hemana credits an Auckland Hospital nurse who was driving past and the bus driver with saving Te Rina's life.

Haki-Raniera witnessed the crash and his mother says he is still in a lot of shock.

She wants to thank the man who comforted him but does not know who he is.

"It's a mystery. He comforted my boy and gave him a jacket and Haki's never taken it off."

Haki-Raniera has moved back to Auckland and started year 9 at Kelston Boys' High School.

Older sisters Tamara, 22, and Anastasia, 21, have also had their lives uprooted by the accident.

Anastasia was forced to leave her job as a dairy farmer in Ruakaka because constantly travelling to hospital was too difficult.

She has since found a new job and moved to Kaukapakapa.

Tamara was prepared to give up her study at Unitec but Te Rina wanted her to keep going.

Charlene Hemana says the sisters have pretty much given up their lives to help.

"I want to thank my daughters from the bottom of my heart because they're just marvellous. They're the best big sisters a child could have."

Te Rina is looking forward to getting back to kapa haka and music, but netball is her first passion.

A Hemana Trust bank account has been set up to help cover the family's costs while Te Rina recovers.

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The account number is 38-9010-0418057-00 or go to givealittle.co.nz/member/terinaataahua to donate.

- North Shore Times

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