The family of the 15-year-old girl who took a stray bullet to the skull last Monday has something incredible to be thankful for today: doctors expect the teen to make a full recovery. After performing brain surgery to remove the bullet from Vada Vasquez's skull, doctors put her in medically-induced coma and cautioned relatives that she would most likely suffer some degree of brain damage. But now surgeon Narayan Sundaresan believes that although the bullet damaged her left temporal lobe, the area of the brain responsible for speech, she still "can make a full recovery."

Vasquez began communicating with family members on Monday, and her family has been told she may be released from the hospital in time for Christmas. Her mother tells the Post: "She said ‘Mom,’ she said ‘I love you.' She said a couple of things. She smiles and tries to talk and eat for herself... I can see she’s in pain. She had beautiful long hair. She touches it and asks me and says 'why?'" Vasquez was shot while walking home from school on November 16th; five young men have been arrested and a 16-year-old is accused of firing at least six shots, which were allegedly intended for a rival gang member, 19-year-old Tyrone Creighton, who took a bullet but also survived.

"She was very, very lucky," Dr. Sundaresan tells the Daily News. "She went from the emergency room, to the CAT scan, to surgery within the space of an hour...She is young and will get better. But she has some subtle defects in her speech. I believe that she has the potential to fully recover."

And Vasquez's mother added to the News, "It's a great Thanksgiving, it's going to be a good Christmas, it's going to be a good everything... I didn't know she was even going to make it... It was beautiful just to see her open her eyes."