BRYANT, Ark., (KTHV) - Kali Hardig's mother, Traci Hardig, said Kali reached for her hand on Sunday. This comes on a day when her classmates raised a weekend total of $8,000 for her medical bills.
"It was the best feeling ever," said Traci Hardig, describing the moment Kali reached for her hand.
Traci said Kali continues to make progress as doctors reduce her sedation. She said Kali is still not strong enough to be removed from a ventilator, but hopes this will be the next step in her daughter's recovery.
Health officials said Kali contracted parasitic meningitis while swimming at a local water park. Kali would be the third person in the world to survive the infection.
Traci said the family continues to be overwhelmed by the displays of support throughout Arkansas.
"Wow, I can't believe that! I'm in shock," said Traci, when told of the weekend total raised by Kali's classmates.
The classmates initially reported a total of $2,400 raised in Benton on Saturday, but said the final tally came to $3,000.
The classmates took to the streets of Bryant on Sunday, and raised another $5,000. This brings the weekend total to $8,000 raised to go toward Kali's medical bills.
Organizers said one family, moved by Kali's story, drove from Beebe to donate.
Anyone can make a donation at any Arvest Bank branch. The account is listed under, 'Kali LeAnn Hardig.'
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dan_wilkerson.