On Dec. 2, 2017, I was going home from bowling practice when I was involved in a head on collision as I was turning onto a side road. The second that my car hit the truck, I blacked out and didn’t wake up until the ambulance had gotten there.
An off-duty police officer from Alliance named Tye Lauener was behind me. Luckily, Tye knew what to do. He came up to my car realizing I wasn’t moving. He immediately checked my pulse to find out I had no pulse.
He began to cut off my seatbelt to pull me out of my vehicle to do CPR. Unfortunately, I was stuck because the engine had come up onto my legs but luckily when he was trying to pull me out, I woke up.
Once the ambulance got to the scene, they came up with a plan to try to get me out. They needed to cut off the roof of my car. I remember waking up and being told that they were putting a sheet over me to cut off my roof so nothing hit me. And that’s exactly what they did.
Once they got the roof of my car off, I remember looking to my left to see an EMT who works at my school in the cafeteria. I remember asking him if the other driver was okay. He responded and said, yes, Becca, he’s going to be alright.
They finally got me out of the car, but I blacked out again and didn’t wake back up until after I was in the ambulance heading to Mercy Medical Center in Canton.
When we were going to Mercy, I, again, lost pulse so they had to do CPR to bring me back. Once I came back all I remembered was seeing white light coming at me like they were lights in the movies about going to heaven. It’ll be a moment that I’ll never forget.
Once I got to Mercy, they did X-rays to begin finding out what bones were broken. When they realized there was so much, they decided to life flight me to Akron Children’s Hospital.
When I got to Akron Children’s they evaluated me to find out that I had over 32 broken bones throughout my body and would need to have surgery by the next morning. Going into the surgery, they found that both my lungs had collapsed and the right lung was going to need a chest tube to help me breathe. They also put me on a ventilator.
They continued to do surgery on both my legs placing a rod in the lower left leg and a rod in the upper right leg. I got 2 casts on both my legs a couple days later, as well as a cast on my left arm.
My right upper arm was in a splint until about a week later when it was hurting so bad I told my doctors, so they decided to go in and do surgery to figure out the problem. In surgery, they found that my nerve had been twisted through my bone on the opposite side and that’s why it hurt so bad. They inserted a plate and screws to stabilize my bone.
At this point I was on complete bed rest and depended on my family, nurses and doctors to keep me going. A week later I was moved to the Burn Unit – due to overflow in the ICU – and was still on bed rest.
Then, about 10 days later, I was transferred to a skilled facility nursing home in Dover, Ohio, where I stayed for 2 weeks to start some therapy.
On Jan. 8, I saw Dr. Patrick Riley, Sr. and got all 3 of my casts removed and put into 2 walking boots so I could start bearing weight on both legs. He then said I could be transferred back to Akron Children’s to start rehab and to get stronger.
On the first day of starting rehab at Akron Children’s, I was given a walker and got up and just started walking. Keep in mind this was the first time I walked in over 7 weeks.
I did rehab for 2 weeks with nearly every therapist there, including Tiffany, Giovanna, Gretchen, Katie, Chuck, Tamika and Stacy. I was released to go home and do outpatient therapy at a nearby physical therapy center.
I am now home and am so excited to start this new chapter to begin healing and getting back to how I use to be. I’ve never been so happy to be home.
I went back to school on Jan. 29 part time. I was so excited to get back to my life and be myself with my friends. The support has been nothing but absolutely amazing. My entire community supported me, as well as teachers and staff at my school. My friends were there for me all the time and family never left my side. I couldn’t be more thankful for all these people in my life. This accident may have changed me, but it never destroyed me!
I CAN OFFICIALLY WALK!!! Today I took my first walk 😊😊😊 pic.twitter.com/qOVTESWhit
— becca (@rybeccar) January 16, 2018