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Girl Who Survived Skull Fracture, Coma Gets a Visit From LA Kings' Stanley Cup

Nine-year-old Genny Shepler fell 30 to 35 feet next to Big Falls in Mill Creek Canyon in July and sustained a skull fracture that put her into a coma. She has been recovering at Loma Linda University Medical Center and a rehab hospital in Orange.

A 9-year-old Forest Falls girl who fell 30 to 35 feet next to a steep cataract in Mill Creek Canyon on July 30 got to visit Tuesday with the Stanley Cup and the Los Angeles Kings mascot, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

"Brawny enforcers are applauded when they avenge their teammates' honor, but they're not as brave as the brown-haired girl who wore a Kings shirt and had a black balloon tied to her wheelchair with purple ribbon as she greeted the Stanley Cup on Tuesday at the HealthBridge Children's Hospital in Orange," The Times' NHL writer Helene Elliott reported.

When she fell next to Big Falls, Genny Shepler sustained a skull fracture that initially put her into a coma, and her family feared she would never wake up.

Finally around Aug. 9 Genny opened her eyes, and her recovery has been continuing slowly but surely, DeAnne Shepler told Redlands-Loma Linda Patch in August.

Genny may get to return home in the next two weeks, DeAnne said in a recent update online.

Here's more from Elliott's report:

"I want to walk," she said when the Cup arrived, ferried there by the Kings. And so she did, another step forward on a long journey back to health and hockey.

Genny, a good student and member of the Lady Reign hockey team, was hiking with three siblings in the mountains near her home July 30 when she slipped and fell about 30 feet, fracturing her skull and bruising her brain stem. She was in a coma for 11 days.

"At one point, her doctors came in and told us, 'You need to prepare yourself for the fact that she might not wake up, or that she might be in a vegetative state, or that she might not be able to walk,'" said her mother, DeAnne. "I said, 'You don't know this kid.' "

To read the full Times report, click here.

Supporters have set up a Give Forward fund to help the Sheplers defray medical costs and travel expenses. The fund is at www.giveforward.com/forgennysfamily.

They have also set up a CaringBridge site with photos of Genny and updates on her condition, at www.caringbridge.org/visit/GennyBesniaShepler.

Follow Redlands-Loma Linda Patch on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for the free daily newsletter here.

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