By Libby Hopkins
She has been known as the “Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor” for more than five years. On April 18, she took back her name, Queena. She is a survivor and a true inspiration to the entire community. The family kept her face and name private because they wanted to protect her. “We put ourselves in her shoes and thought we would protect her from people knowing what happened,” Queena’s sister, Anna Vuong said, “After five years of having the community’s prayers, encouragement, and donations; we thought it was time to let the world know she’s no longer a victim.”
Queena and her family decided to create a website to let the community be a part of her journey. Queena was instrumental in the creation of the website and she let her family know whether or not she liked something that was being put on her website. “Even with a brain injury, she is completely cognitive,” Vuong said, “She shows a lot of emotion in her face and signals with her arms and legs.” Since “Join Queena” (www.joinqueena.com) was launched on April 18, the website has had more than 4,000 hits and has raised over $7,000 in donations for her recovery. The website includes never-before-seen family photos, doctors and therapists’ notes and insights from Queena’s family and friends on her recovery. The website also features a donation page that enables online donations to Queena’s trust fund. Many of Queena’s treatments are not covered by Medicaid, but are funded through the generosity of the whole community. “We want people to be inspired by Queena,” Vuong said, “If you are having a bad day, we want you to be able to go onto the website and see her bright smile and read about her progress.”
Many people in the community had the chance to see Queena’s bright, beautiful smile when the family celebrated her 23rd birthday with the community on April 20 at Keel and Curley Winery in Plant City. Queena surprised her guest by getting up and dancing with the help of her physical therapists. Her smile lit up the whole room the whole time she was dancing. If you would like to follow Queena’s progress, or make a donation to her recovery, please visit her website at www.joinqueena.com.