Year after coming down with mysterious illness, young girl remains in coma

'I have to fight alongside with her,' mother says


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A single thread of hope coupled with faith is what keeps Jeimy Solis from giving up. It has been a year since her beloved daughter Melanie slipped into a state of unconsciousness that doctors haven't been able to explain.

"Til this day, I don't know exactly happened to my daughter," Solis said.

Doctors believe Melanie may have contracted a viral infection that led to a fever, seizures and ended with her in a coma.

The 11-year-old loved to sing and dance. She spent months in the hospital and was moved back home in May. She wears a ski mask to keep her eyes from drying.

"Today, Mel stretches out her arms, moves her head. She opens up her eyes, even though there's no reaction. She opens and closes them," Solis said. "Some tell them they believe she does have more neurological activity going on. Some tell me it's reflexes."

You feel the family's optimism in the people who help look after Melanie including a teacher who reads to her and the nurses who work 12-hour shifts to make sure she's OK.

"If God was going to take her, there is no machine in the world that could save her. I feel that Mel is fighting to be here and as her mother, I have to fight alongside with her," Solis said.

Solis said recent changes to Melanie's health insurance has added to the anxiety of making sure Melanie doesn't forgo medical care, including respiratory treatments.

"This has taught me that appreciate today because tomorrow is not promised," Solis said.

Doctors were never able to definitively determine what led to the coma and according to the family, they haven't been able to explain the signs of life the child has showed in recent months.

The family will meet with someone from Sen. Marco Rubio's office Wednesday to see whether anything can be done to guarantee the child's insurance for the next several years.