I had driven this road countless times since getting my license almost 2 years prior. I had even made the comment "I can drive it (the road) with my eyes closed." Boy, at times we can be so foolish, can't we? The road I grew up on was very curvy--much too curvy for the 55 mph posted speed limit. As I was going around one of the curves, my pager went off (those were once the cool things to have). As I looked down, I ran off the road and over corrected. I hit another vehicle head on. Because I hit another moving vehicle, it was double impact. I hit my steering wheel at 110 mph.
This is the after math...or what I most often refer to as "the day I almost died."
Brace yourself... This picture takes my breath away every time I look at it....
This day haunts me and often makes me wonder and reflect on what God's purpose is for my life? Why was I spared? It's partially the reason I chose my One Word for 2013 to be:
So, you may be wondering how on Earth I could survive the mangled mess that was once my car.
It's simple: God's grace and mercy. The one characteristic that I hated so much about myself--my petite size--saved my life. The space between my steering wheel and seat was just enough space for my broken, beat up body. I was trapped in my car for two hours as rescue works called in the "jaws of life" to free me. (I met a former friend of my grandpa's who told me that he tried to pull on my car so much his hands were bleeding. That's before the rescue crews arrived. Thank you Mr. Willis!)
Once, I was finally freed, I was airlifted to Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville where I spent about a week in ICU. I had 8 hours worth of surgery the day of the accident to implant metal rods in both of my legs. I had broken my left femur and right tibula. I also broke my pelvis, my lung was collapsed, and I had countless staples and stitches.
Finally, I was conscience and moved to a regular room.
|From Left to Right:|
Amber Seagle, Carrie Houston, Me, Jessica Reitzel
|Me and My Grandpa|
|Me and my Aunt Marie|
On January 30, after 25 days in the hospital, I finally was allowed to go home. Home, sweet home. It was 2 days before my 18th birthday.
|Me holding my niece Kenleigh|
I spent the rest of my Senior year being a home-bound student, attending physical therapy 3 times a week, and learning how to walk again.....Oh! And being so very grateful and undeserving of being alive.
So even 15 years later, I can say without reservation
Happy Anniversary to me! It's good to be alive!