Gift wrapping turns into therapy for 13-year-old crash victim

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- From victim to entrepreneur.

This Christmas, London Banks is on a mission.

"There's kind of a beauty in it, like art," says Banks as she cuts into another roll of red, white and green wrapping paper. "Honestly, the key to it is making sure that wrapping paper is extremely tight, there's no air bubbles."

The 13-year-old is using her long-time passion for wrapping gifts as therapy.

"I have a really short attention span, I've learned, and I tend to forget easily, but this makes sure I'm focused on what I'm doing and I remember why exactly I am doing this."

The teen is still out of Harmony School for Technology after an October crash left her seriously injured.

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London Banks, whose first words in hospital were, "Go 'Stros" is doing better.

She and her brother took a bike ride to get ice cream, when a driver hit her, leaving her on the side of the road at Ella near Willow Timber.

Banks now suffers from a traumatic brain injury, causing slurred speech, impulse issues, difficulty sleeping and she's unable to walk for more than 20 minutes.

"To see my 13-year-old bi-lateral brain injury child be able to wrap 20 gifts in one setting and have a system in place without my input was just, it did it for me," said her mother Shandra Mosley-Banks.

Her mother signed up to manage her daughter's new gift wrapping business, saying, "to launch this was a no-brainer."

So far, the teen has taken on five clients, wrapping nearly 100 presents.

With each gift, the cutting, taping, folding and tying put her cognitive and fine motor skills to the test.

She tells us she hopes the hard work gets her back to school faster.

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The road to recovery is long, but the 13-year-old girl who was hit by a car on Wednesday is showing signs of improvement.

"I miss math, I miss social studies, I miss science," said London.

Physically, she is beating every timeline the doctors give her, but her mother admits emotionally she has a long way to go.

The driver who left her for dead has not been found.

"For her to know that this person has liberties and freedoms such as you and I everyday bothers her. Like the tears at night to hear, to see her cry and to see the frustration and her heart to be so grieved that someone would do this and just leave her," said Mosley-Banks.

Investigators have clear surveillance video of the car they're searching for: a black Chevy Cruise or Kia Forte.

"This car did not disappear from the face of the Earth, someone knows."

ABC13 was there to watch London wrap gifts at a client's house.

As she humbly admitted, she is not perfect.

"I won't say I'm a master, because I have my moments where I cut that wrapping paper a little too short. I'm telling you I barely make it, it's a good thing there's tape!"

She's pretty honest too, and she's hoping for an honest person to step forward and take responsibility for her injury this Christmas.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver.

If you have any information that may help this case, please call them at (713) 222-TIPS.

If you would like to hire London for gift wrapping services, you can reach the business at (832) 846-0731.

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