LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- A Las Cruces teenager is spending her 19th birthday fighting for her life in the intensive care unit.
"She's my angel," said her father, Manuel Morales, Jr. "She feels there's nothing she can't handle. In this situation, that's what we're really hoping for."
On Oct. 3, paramedics rushed 18-year-old Khyana Sky Morales to MountainView Regional Medical Center after she suffered from sudden cardiac arrest, her parents told ABC-7.
"I mean, it was a phone call that she was being rushed to the hospital," said Marysol Verduzco, her mother. "It's kind of a blur after that.
"When we arrived here, she was unresponsive," said Morales Jr.
Her parents describe the teenager as strong-willed, stubborn and determined. The 2020 Las Cruces High graduate especially shined on the basketball team.
"Her motivation to do what she wants to do is very high," said Verduzco.
"We'll have conversations and we'll feel that she's there," Morales Jr. said.
Since that Saturday, the teenager has been on a ventilator in intensive care. To pray for her recovery, members of Khyana's family and loved ones have been gathering in a parking lot near MountainView and shining lights toward her room.
"One of the nurses turned her bed in the direction of the vigil," Morales Jr. said. "If she opens her eyes, she can see how much of the community is supporting her and praying for her."
"I've never in a million years thought we would get this much support," Verduzco said. "I'm grateful."
"We're hoping for a miracle," Morales Jr. said. "There's limited optimism, but in our hearts, we believe that God is going to do what is right."
If you'd like to help with Khyana's medical expenses, click here. Her parents told ABC-7 that whatever amount is not used for her medical bills will go to her college education.