Emma Burkey, who suffered a devastating brain injury after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, spends most of her waking hours trying to get better.
The 19-year-old Las Vegan spends five hours or more most days undergoing therapy to relearn to walk and to improve fine motor skills in her hands, function lost after a series of strokes caused by a blood clot in her brain.
Burkey has come a long way. When she first came out of a medically induced coma, she could not speak, move or even blink her eyes.
“At the very beginning, when I was at the hospital, I couldn’t move literally anything,” Burkey recalled on Wednesday. “And my parents didn’t know that I was even there, that I wasn’t a vegetable, until I stuck my tongue out” as a way to answer yes or no questions.