Waukesha Christmas parade victim, 11, clinging to life on ventilator

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An 11-year-old girl rammed by a career criminal in the Waukesha, Wis., Christmas parade massacre spent Thanksgiving unconscious in a hospital bed, clinging to life and breathing with the help of a ventilator, her distraught mother told The Post. 

Jessalyn Torres, 11, is one of nine children injured in the Nov. 21 crash who are still being treated at Children’s Wisconsin Hospital. 

“No mother should ever go through this. This is a very traumatic ordeal,” her mother, Amber Kohnke, told The Post. 

“The hardest part was not being with everyone and Jessalyn, in the condition she is, was not able to be with her family either,” she said.

In a Thanksgiving note to her family and friends, Kohnke described the agony of watching her child struggle to breathe.

“Let me say this again… she is a fighter!” Kohnke wrote in the Facebook post.“I sat here and held her hand, kissed her head and just watched and cried and told her I was so proud of her.”


Jessalyn Torres, 11, is one of nine children injured in the Nov. 21 crash.
Jessalyn Torres, 11, is one of nine children injured in the Nov. 21 crash.
GoFundMe

She suffered a broken pelvis and femur, a fractured skull, lacerations to her lungs and an injury to her kidney when Darrell Brooks allegedly barreled through the small town holiday parade in a red SUV, injuring 60 people and killing six.

Torres is one of four children who remain in a serious condition, while three others are in fair condition and two are in a good condition, the hospital said. 

Her little girl was dancing in the parade before Brooks unleashed hell at the event — and she was thrown into the air after the impact. 

The collision caused her kidney to tear from the renal artery, rendering the organ permanently useless. She is now unconscious and breathing with the help of a ventilator, her mother said. 

An SUV plows into a crowd of people during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
An SUV plows into a crowd of people during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
WAUKESHA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE/

Kohnke said celebrating Thanksgiving at her child’s hospital bedside was especially difficult, not least because she has four other children to care for.

“I hate watching my daughter go through this,” she added in another note. “Cry a little tear, suck it up, and stay strong for her.”

Kohnke has raised some $110,000 in an online fundraiser to help cover Jessalyn’s medical bills.

Brooks was out on $1,000 cash bail at the time of the parade massacre after he allegedly punched the mother of his child and purposefully ran her “over with his vehicle” in a Milwaukee gas station parking lot on Nov. 2, according to court documents previously reviewed by The Post.

He has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with a sixth expected to be added soon. 

He’ll face the additional charge because the youngest victim, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was critically injured, died two days after the massacre. 

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