Georgia student fights for life after fierce storm topples campus tree onto her

The Corte family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received from the community, the University of Georgia's Athens and hospital staff.

ATHENS. Ga. Mia Corte was walking on University of Georgia's Athens campus when a fierce storm came out of nowhere Tuesday afternoon. 

"Mia was actually sending a video to her boyfriend of how bad the storm was, and at 5:04, her phone died. So, that was apparently the time the tree fell and landed on her," said Mia's father, Bob Corte. 

Medics rushed the 20-year-old to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital with critical injuries.

"She was under the tree for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before they could get everything off of her and out, "said Mia's mother, Rebecca Corte.

She suffered severe head trauma and extensive bodily injury.

"Thank God the body and brain are resilient, and we are hopeful she is going to bounce back. She has moments when she is communicating great and moments when it's not so much. [She is in] a lot of pain, so she has a long road of healing and recovery," said Rebecca Corte.


Mia is a rising junior. She just completed her sophomore year at UGA. She is majoring in communication sciences and disorders and plans to be an audiologist.

Her parents say she's a spirited, determined young woman, a real fighter.

"She's a fighter. Yesterday, Neurology told her she has a long way, and she needs to take at least four to six weeks and do nothing, no classes. She says, ‘No I'm taking class online this summer,’" said Rebecca Corte. "We'll see, but she is resilient, very resilient."

The Corte family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received from the community, UGA, and hospital staff. 

"The police officers have been back. The staff here have been amazing," said Rebecca Corte. "She has an amazing team of doctors and nurses. We are very thankful. I mean if it had to happen anywhere, we're glad it happened here."