Krysta's Message: Crash victim shares insight 10 years later - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Krysta's Message: Crash victim shares insight 10 years later


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- March 5, won't mark a special day for many, but 10 years later on that very day, a 17-year old girl's life changed forever.  Krysta Swayze, 27, of Rochester was paralyzed from the waist down when the car she was driving careened off Highway 52 into an overpass on her way to pick up a friend.

"I remember seeing green grass. Then hearing a big crash. And that's it," she recalled.  "It's insane how fast it went by."

But with her injuries comes the memories of when it all happened.  "I said dad I can't feel my legs. And he said 'yeah you're paralyzed.' And then the last thing I remember saying is 'that's okay as long as I'm alive," said Swayze.

In 2003 ,Swayze. was on her way to Oronoco to pick up a friend before school when her car hit the ditch, smashing into the guard rail, tumbling onto side into the Mayowood Road overpass  "I had one vertebrae shatter," she said pointing to her old x-ray.  "And the one below it bent into my spinal column and that's how I became paralyzed."

Some scars ran deeper than the screws clamps and rods in her back.

"Sometime just loneliness and feeling like nobody understands. But I can't give up," she said.  "I thank God everyday that I'm still here and that I was able to make it through. I won't have my legs but that's okay."

Swayze said the support of her family is what has pulled her through.  "They never gave up on me. So I can't give up for them."

If any of us have had troubles in our lives, when can learn a lesson from her experience.

"There's people out there that have it way worse," said Swayze.  "I just pray for them too that they can get through it."

Swayze now works at St. Marys Hospital.  She lives with her younger sister who helps her.  Swayze said her sister has been there since day one and just like herself,  has had to learn how to do everything a little bit differently.

Swayze said she wanted to share her message because during her recovery she needed inspiration too.

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