- On Wednesday, August 17 Emily Burley was involved in an automobile accident that totaled the car and broke 18 of her bones
- As of early October, she still cannot apply pressure to her left leg
- Still recovering, she plans to return to school next semester
Three teenagers from Searcy High School were involved in a high-impact car crash in August but Emily Burley survived along with everyone else.
“We started spinning and swerving all over the road and there was a car that was coming and they [the other car] didn’t have time to stop so they hit the car [our car],” Burley said.
Unfortunately, the crash didn’t only do damage to the car.
“I actually blacked out. We all blacked out as soon as the car started spinning,” Burley said. “I woke up as soon as the car hit us. When I woke up, I didn’t know where the other car was because it had been moved. The other two where still passed out and so I had to wake them all up.”
Emergency personnel immediately arrived on the scene of the accident.
“It took them an hour and a half to get me out of the car,” Burley said. “So towards the end I was really scared because I kept hearing them say things like ‘there is no where else to cut. We don’t know how to get her out.’ So I got really scared because I honestly thought they were going to have to cut my left leg off.”
After over an hour of firefighters and paramedics working with the jaws of life, Burley was removed from the vehicle and airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.
“The Helicopter landed in the church parking lot and they put me in it and they wouldn’t allow any of my family members be in it,” Burley said. “So I remember my mom and she said don’t worry I’ll meet you at the hospital.”
When Burley arrived at Children’s Hospital she underwent many x-rays and blood transfusions.
Doctors concluded that in her lower body she had 18 broken bones and in those 18 bones she had 47 breaks. Burley had surgery to repair the breaks later that night.
“They did the best they could to get me there as soon as they could but it still took a little while and the surgery took about two hours, and that surgery wasn’t the one where they put all the metal in my leg, it was just when they put the bones back in my leg,” she said.
Even though hospital life may not be perfect, Burley had doubts about coming home.
“I was kind of scared to come home just because I didn’t know what would happen if some medical emergency came up and the doctors weren’t there,” she said.
As far as recovery goes Burley still has five weeks before she can put any pressure on her right leg, and even though she started physical therapy on her left leg, she still can’t apply any pressure.
“Right now we are learning how to just use my leg again because even though it’s just been a month, I lost the muscle memory: how to walk, how to kick, how to do the simple things,” she said. ”So right now I’m being taught how to move my foot, move my toes, bend my knee— stuff that would seem extremely easy but it’s actually really hard for me.”
Even though Burley is going through something no teenager should go through, she still has an optimistic attitude and sees the bright side.
“I consider myself very lucky because if you look at the car, it would seem impossible for me to be alive,” Burley said. “I had multiple doctors and all the people who were at the scene said they didn’t think there was anyway I was going to live, so I consider myself extremely lucky and blessed that I’m still alive.”
Burley added that all of the visits from her friends and notes from people have motivated her to try and walk, and live a normal life again as soon as possible. She plans to return back at school next semester. The other two students were not as seriously injured as Burley and have already returned to school.
This article was edited and re-packaged by Michelle La Vone, a member of the ICONN News Editor staff at the University of Tennessee. Please direct any comments or questions to email@example.com