These days Desire Northington is all smiles.
It wasn't that way two months ago, when the 13-year-old's life was threatened after an amusement ride accident at the Georgia-Carolina Fair.
The Sego Middle School pupil was thrown from the Orbiter ride and suffered head injuries and a broken nose.
Although she said she doesn't recall the night of Oct. 26, Desire said her recovery is like a miracle.
"I just want to thank all the people who prayed for me," she said during a Christmas week interview, singling out her family and schoolmates for their support as she recuperated at Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center.
"I feel a lot better," she said.
Initially, a Department of Labor investigation said Desire became frightened and tried to jump from the ride. But the investigation was later reopened and District Attorney Danny Craig became involved.
Meanwhile, Desire continues to recover.
She said she has fun playing around with her little brother most of the time, although the two have their moments, she said at the south Augusta home she shares with her mother Tammara Epps and 11-year-old brother Antoine.
During her recovery, Desire has been assisted by physical and speech therapists at Walton Rehabilitation Center, where she continues to receive therapy at least twice a week.
Meanwhile, she has been taking classes at Sego Middle and is again interested in her beloved hip-hop and R&B music icons, including Ciara, Young Jeezy and Chris Brown.
Beverly Biddings, her grandmother, said the girl's recovery is "through God's grace." Mrs. Biddings helped organize a prayer vigil to support Desire through the leadership of the Rev. Larry Fryer and the Augusta branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Although Desire did not receive much financial help after the accident, her mother said they are hopeful that some group or individuals will come to their assistance to help with medical bills.
Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.