‘It’s bad, they have her on life support.’ I cried out to keep my sister earth side, not to take her from us.’: Young woman recalls sister’s harrowing car accident, how she overcame her ‘impossible’ recovery

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“June 22, 2019, the day after my baby sisters 20th birthday our entire world was shattered. It was just after 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning when I received the phone call. My mom called to tell me my sister had been in an accident; she didn’t know much but was headed to the hospital.

Courtesy Stephanie Osborn

I’m the person that uses reason and stays calm during chaos, so I waited by the phone, waiting to be told she’s was ok. But minutes turned to hours and no one could tell my parents anything at the hospital. That’s when I started to realize this wasn’t just an accident, this wasn’t just going to be ok. I will never forget the pain in my dad’s voice and anguish in my mother’s cry’s echoing in the background as my dad told me ‘it’s bad, they have her on life support’.

I don’t remember much of the drive to the hospital after that point the one thing I do remember is coming around a curve going towards the hospital and the sun shining through the rain clouds and at that moment I cried out and beg for God to keep my sister earth side, not to take her from us.

I could have never known that morning when I woke up and had breakfast with my husband and kids that it would be well over 40 hours before I ate and slept again and that it would be in a completely different state when I did because my sister was flown there with a small hope of saving her life. As night broke to morning and our 5 hours’ drive ended, we were greeted with a doctor at about 4 in the morning giving us the news there was nothing they could do and prepare for the worst.

As the days continued, she fought, and boy did she fight hard. After suffering from traumatic brain injuries to the entire left side of her brain as well as stroke she underwent decompression surgery (they removed a large portion of her skull). Days went by and she continued to fight surprisingly. The doctors did what they could to keep her heart beating and lungs breathing, and the rest was now up to her. After a week of watching number on her monitors goes up and down and ring, we finally had another meeting with the trauma team. We were told it was time to start bringing her out of the induced coma and what we should expect.

We were told she may just have it in her to fight this but, even if she wins the battles she would be paralyzed and 90% confidence she would have no use of language or understanding of it. We were told we should consider what she would have wanted for her quality of life and to start to consider making decisions.

Courtesy Stephanie Osborn
Courtesy Stephanie Osborn

I decided in that room of 7 plus doctors that that day that my sister had already showed us she wants to live… and we would not stand in her way but instead we will stand beside because we are her tribe. And live is just what she has done! We are just over 4 months past the accident and thriving!

Courtesy Stephanie Osborn

My mom my dad and I are her team and we are moving mountains. She spent 3 months in hospitals where she was weaned from a ventilator, had a tracheostomy removed had 2 surgeries, 3 cast removed, learned to eat again, learned to drink again, made lots of friends and tons of laughs. Since being home in the last month we spend everyday living life to the absolute fullest!

Courtesy Stephanie Osborn
Courtesy Stephanie Osborn

Within the first week of being home this girl went from completely bed bound because the pain and weakness was so severe in her right side to sitting outside in her wheelchair enjoying the Sunshine! Every week she gets stronger!

Courtesy Stephanie Osborn

We talk and laugh and sing and our heart overflow with Thanksgiving for all these things. It is hard, and we stay tired and we get frustrated but sometimes I just think back to that moment of asking God to just keep her earth side… and I imagine my life and the emptiness it would of had if things went differently that day. So, we are thankful for even the hard days and will continue to wake up fighting every day to help my baby sister make her FULL ‘impossible’ recovery!”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Stephanie Osborn, 25, of Tennessee. Have you overcome the odds and would like to share your story? We’d love to hear your journey. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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