On August 14, 2019 Lauren and Lily Stouffer survived a car accident on their way home from volleyball practice, and they have not let the accident define them. April is Distracted Driver Awareness month, so it's important to remember the effects of a lack of attention on the road in someone else's life.
“I only remember a little from that day,” La Stouffer said. “I remember volleyball practice and doing a lab in physiology. We didn’t get to finish, so I was the one to take it home,” La Stouffer laughed. “That probably was not the best decision.”
Meanwhile Lily remembered much of that day. “I remember all of school and volleyball and even up until our car got hit, but after that I don’t know what happened. The next thing I knew was I was in the hospital with a ton of doctors standing over me, drawing blood.”
Both girls suffered severe injuries. Lily had a severe concussion, a broken clavicle, a broken cheek, and a broken jaw while Lauren had multiple fractures in her pelvis, subarachnoid brain hemorrhage, temporal bone fracture, lacerated spleen, fractured ear canal, fractural skull, dissected carotid artery, left pneumothorax, and bilateral pulmonary contusions.
Despite these injuries and the disruption to their daily life, both girls have refused to let these injuries set them back.
Li Stouffer said, “Even though it was a terrible thing it still made me realize how lucky I am to still be alive and still be able to more and talk and all other normal functions. I also think that having supportive friends and family really helped.”
Lily has returned to school full time and continually has an upbeat attitude and a smile on her face. Although Lauren has not returned to school full time yet, she feels the same as her sister.
“I really don’t know why I’m able to be super positive throughout all of this. I mean, I definitely did go through periods what I felt either really depressed or angry, but I started to see how I really took life before for granted. I would always go to the worst-case scenario in life before and I feel like I always had a really bad attitude. Now I feel like I have gotten a lot of perspective.”
Lauren recently had surgery to get her internal fixator out. She hopes this surgery will let her ditch her walker for good.
“I’m still on the road to recovery, but I’m progressing. Brain-wise, I’ll be cleared to drive in December, but I still have to take reflex classes.”
Both girls want to return to the volleyball team next year, fully recovered, and ready to play.
“I’m really grateful for all the effort everyone put into making us feel better, we really felt loved during this time,” Li Stouffer said, smiling.
“This accident has taught me a lot. Through this, I’ve become grateful because now I see everything in life, and even life itself, isn’t guaranteed,” La Stouffer said. “Sorry that was cheesy,” she laughed, “but it’s true!”
Both Lauren and Lily want to thank everyone in the KCHS community for their continual love and support.