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Survivor Collett R. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   At the age of 16, Collett was
involved in a serious car accident resulting in a coma that lasted for six months. Doctors had
little hope, and at one time told her family to prepare for her death. But the family - and Collett -
did not give up. After transferring to a different hospital, she began to improve. She began waking
up and showed great improvement. She immediately began physical therapy and refreshing her memory.
Collett did well and a year and half later, she is back in school and nominated for Junior Prom
Queen. She has let nothing get in her way.

Would you change anything in
your life?


I'm asked this question a lot, and after thinking about it
for awhile, I would have to say no. I have had so many great experiences during this trial in my
life; I've become very close to my family. I know this has made me a stronger person in many ways. I
feel very confident, and have regained a lot of my strength through physical therapy. I'm almost
walking normally.

Who would you like to thank for helping
you through?


I really can't remember a lot of the people who came to
see me at the beginning, but for all my friends who came, I can't thank them enough. It made me feel
so loved, although I was embarrassed because my hair and make-up wouldn't be done, and I would be
wearing those lovely hospital gowns, and sometimes say things out loud I normally wouldn't. My
family stood by me every single day; my mom even slept in the hospital in case I woke up. She now
takes me to physical therapy and always encourages me to do my best. I would also like to thank my
cousin, Kent. He was a great role model, and had quite an impact on
my improvement.

What have you achieved?

I
think just being alive is a great achievement. They said I might never walk again, and here I
am walking. I still have a small limp, but hopefully soon it will go away and I will be up and
running around. I have been able to go to school and keep up with my work; I wouldn't let myself
settle for anything less. I would also love to get my driver's license soon; I can't wait for
that.

What has been the most difficult
part?


That would have to be getting myself ready to comeback to school
and lead a regular life. Also losing some of my closest friends, who weren't there like they used to
be. It's hard not having a constant friend. I am not being as included as I used to be. I miss
that.

Who is your role model?

Earlier I
mentioned my mom, family and cousin. They were terrific. I also admire Bryon Russell (a forward for
the Utah Jazz), who is a great example of being in the spotlight and remaining down-to-earth and
kind. I had the chance to meet him after my accident, and he is still
my friend.

What would you like to accomplish in
life?


Walking without a limp, driving a car and traveling around the
world; meeting lots of new and interesting people. I would also like to dance and sing, I have
always wanted to. I would love to go to the Caribbean; the islands look so pretty. They
have waterfalls and I love waterfalls!

What do you want people to
know about you?


That I am perfectly fine and no one should be afraid of
me. People won't call me to hang out like they used to because they think I can't do any of that
stuff. But I can. I want to go on dates and hang out and go to parties. I am not completely back to
normal yet, but I can still do most of the things I did before. Sometimes I get treated like a baby
and not taken seriously;that really bugs me. I want to be treated like a
normal teen.

What's the best thing that has happened since
the accident?


Probably just making it through, being able to walk again
and going back to school.

If you could say one thing to kids your
age, what would you say?


Set goals and work hard for them. Try to
achieve whatever you want to. Don't let anything stand in your way.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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