LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On day 28 after the train crash that killed three of his closest friends, Kismat Mishra was able to speak again.
The 18-year-old is receiving therapy at Frazier Rehab Institute. Gyan Mishra, his mother, said Kismat has made great progress though he's got a long road ahead.
The family allowed WAVE 3 News to visit Kismat for an exclusive story about his recovery. They declined to speak of any details of the crash. Because Gyan speaks little English, her nephew, Buddha Dhakal translated for us.
"It's been a difficult time," Gyan said as Buddha translated. She's hopeful about his future. "He is much better and I feel that he'll be better, he'll be OK in the same place as before."
He explained Kismat's greatest challenge is a traumatic brain injury. His speech and motor skills have been affected.
Inside his hospital room, there are several pictures of his Waggener High School boys soccer Team. Kismat was a striker.
"I am holding a trophy," he described. "This one is Waggener versus Trinity and we lost that game," he recalled.
Kismat lights up when talking about them and his favorite professional soccer team, FC Barcelona, and his favorite player, Lionel Messi. Kismat told us how much his teammates mean to him, and how they've helped him throughout his recovery.
"We are really close," Kismat said. "They gave me a soccer ball too, and I have some more at home."
Kismat's teammates and classmates wrote get well messages on the soccer balls.
"It's been great," said Kismat of his friends. "I just love them."
Kismat has two siblings, ages 9 and 15. His mother is trying to keep the family afloat. Kismat's father is struggling through his own medical issues and is unable to work. Gyan is working at a food distribution factory. She explains it has been difficult for her to work, be with Kismat at the hospital and take care of her two other children. She is working a few hours a day. She has no car and takes the bus to visit Kismat as often as she can.
Gyan says her two other children have been a great help, especially her older daughter.
"When I am at the hospital she wakes up the younger one, then get him to the bus, and then she goes to school after that," she said as Buddha translated for her.
Gyan hopes Kismat will be able to play soccer again in the future. Kismat tells us he's taking things slowly.
"One day at a time," he said.
His right hand is severely injured and his mother is concerned he may not regain its use. He is also learning how to walk to again and is able to stand up using a walker. Buddha says they are hopeful he will regain that ability.
Kismat receives therapy three times a day. There is no time frame for when he will be released.
Kismat was a high school senior. Once he gets out of the hospital he plans on getting his diploma and going to college. He wants to study science.
The Bhutanese Society of Kentucky collected enough funds to pay for their rent this month. Buddha is the chairman of the group's board. The Kentucky Refugee Ministries is helping them organize donations made outside of the Bhutanese Society.
To help, you can contact Buddha by email at the following address: