The woman who survived a plane crash at Lake Tahoe continues to fight for her life. With medical bills mounting, the family is asking for the public's help.
Since that plane crash earlier this month, Rachel Belo of Brentwood, CA has been at Renown. The family says one of her legs had to be amputated, and she can't speak because of a tracheotomy. Rachel's cousin in California says Rachel still needs a lot of treatment.
"She tries to respond to commands such as 'can you hold up two fingers?,' and she makes the attempt but it's very difficult for her," Eileen Hannan, Rachel's cousin, said.
26-year-old Rachel Belo's family says she woke from a coma Wednesday, but is still in and out of consciousness.
"Her eyes seem to respond to people or if you mention certain people's names she has a look of frustration on her face," Hannan said.
Rachel's cousin says, at last check, Rachel had a 50/50 chance of pulling through. Rachel and her boyfriend were the only people on board a small plane that crashed August 5th South of Lake Tahoe -- Rachel survived.
Her survival may have been because of Gary Olive. In the moments after the crash, he saw Rachel inside the burning plane. A law enforcement officer cut her seat belt, and Gary sprang into action.
"He got in there and cut the belt and just as soon as he backed out... I went in and got her, got ahold of her hands and arms and pulled her out," Olive said when interviewed by KOLO on August 5th.
While Gary was humble about his actions the day of the crash, Rachel's family is grateful. Her cousin says they can never repay him, and they hope he'll someday meet Rachel -- someone who's striking beauty and compassion for others brings joy to their lives.
"This additional time we've got to be with her is thanks to him and we just wanna say we thank him and we love him," Hannan said.
Hannan says Rachel suffered burns over about 25 percent of her body and may have to be transferred to the burn unit at UC Davis.
You can donate to help Rachel's family at any Wells Fargo Bank location. Ask for the Rachel Ann Belo Hope Fund. Account # 250 260 2259.