The teenager and the neurosurgeon enjoyed their first public meeting and a holiday assembly at this Bronx middle school. There was little nice about their initial encounter Nov 16 2009.
The first time the doctor saw Vada she was fighting for her life after being struck in the brain by a stray bullet in a gang shooting.
Just 14-years old at the time, Vada was walking home from school when gunfire erupted, wounding the intended target and Vada...and sending a single shot into Vada's head. Rushed to Lincoln Hospital, Dr. Narayan Sundareson performed emergency surgery on her.
More than a year later, the trauma still affects her ability to speak.
Dr. Sundareson and the members of the Lincoln Hospital Tramua Unit were honored at the assembly, one attended by Governor Paterson, for saving Vada's life.
Five suspects were arrested for attempted murder within days of the shooting.
The defendants charged in the case area awaiting trial. Vada is anticipating another Christmas with her family.