It's been 10 years since Queena Phu was brutally attacked by a man outside the Bloomingdale library in Brandon.
Her story has been an inspiration to many in the Tampa Bay community.
Sunday afternoon, friends and family gathered to wish Queena a happy 28th birthday and celebrate 10 years of survival.
Five years ago, Queena made the brave decision to go public with her identity and made a website to share her journey.
“Just to see that she strives for better and she's always smiling, that's motivation right there. There is nothing you can't do,” says Queens’s best friend, Derrick Perez.
Queena’s family never gave up hope.
Trying new costly treatments throughout the years in hopes of giving her a better life.
“Without everyone's support, she wouldn't have been able to keep her spirits up and make the progress that she has made 10 years today. Fundraising is so important because it's a big expense,” says Anna Donato, Queena’s sister.
It's taken a village to help Queena. Many of her caretakers call her an inspiration.
This birthday is also helping the family raise money to make sure Queena continues to get the best therapy.
Every year, the family spends $70,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.
“Without everyone's support, she wouldn't have been able to keep her spirits up and make the progress that she has made 10 years today. Fundraising is so important because it's a big expense,” says Donato.
Queena's family no longer asks why this happened to her but continues to raise awareness on traumatic brain injury through their nonprofit “Hope Heals The Brain Inc." to help other families.
Over the last three years, Queena's mom has been working on a memoir-- centered around Queena's attack and the events that followed. All of the book's proceeds will support the family's nonprofit organization.
To donate to the family, go to www.joinqueena.com.
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