LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Life has been very rewarding for Hudson High School senior Kim Hanson. A member of the show choir and an active piano and guitar player, it seems Kim has everything figured out, but when she was ten years old a traumatizing accident almost cost her life.
It happened on February 24, 2007 and for Kim the memory is as clear as if it happened just yesterday.
"Some people would say 'Oh, I remember seeing the light or something like that'. I didn't see anything like that," Hanson said.
In fact, the last thing Kim saw before she died was the grill of a maroon truck.
"The truck hit me going 70; dead on. He kept going. He didn't actually stop. He kept going for about two miles down the road and then finally he stopped when I guess the cops showed up," Hanson said.
At age ten, Kim says all she wanted to do was get a chance to ride her ATV.
"My mom was brushing out the tangles in my hair and I begged her and begged her to go 'just give me a little break, just a little break to go up to my friend's house and have a little fun and then I'll come back and you can brush the rest of them out,'" Hanson said.
Her mom said OK, as long as she called ten minutes after she arrived. So Kim hopped onto the back of her white and pink ATV hoping to have a fun time with her friend. After deciding to go to a nearby gas station to get some candy, that's when Kim says everything changed when she realized she didn't have any money and turned around.
"All of the sudden when I turned around—I saw the grill of the truck coming. My leg and head implanted into his windshield. My foot was turned all the way around, like it was broken and my ribs were cracked and my collar bone was broken. I had a head injury," Hanson said.
All Kim remembers is hitting the truck and then waking up inside a hospital room at Memorial Hermann in Hospital. Kim's mom said that when her daughter didn't call her she got worried and when she heard about the wreck she rushed to her daughter's side. That's when paramedics told her Kim's heart had stopped.
"Mom said when she got up to the highway the paramedic were trying to help me and I was screaming, I was so mad," Hanson said.
Kim says she was in the hospital for seven days and because she was unable to walk, a big, golden retriever was the only thing that kept her company.
"She came in and licked my hand. She was a big, Golden Retriever, so pretty. She was just very loving and very kind and I couldn't move my ankle was broken, both bones in my ankles were broken so I couldn't necessarily get up and walk. She came to my bed and she was really sweet and I got to pet her," Hanson said.
It took Kim two years to recover and now at age 17, she's leading a normal and happy life with one consequence of the brain injury she sustained during the accident.
"I have like regular Epilepsy like flashing lights and loud noises can trigger a seizure but also being too happy or being too excited or too sad or to angry can also trigger a seizure," Hanson said.
Kim says she usually can tell when she is about to have a seizure.
"You know when you're on a roller coaster and you drop and the feeling you get of your stomach just like dropping? It's kind of like that and it hurts actually. Your stomach starts to cramp up and you can feel your heart beating really fast and you start to breathe faster and your muscles start to tense up and so I just kind of know and so I'm like alright. Here I go," Hanson said.
Kim says she has about 4 minutes after she gets that feeling to get into a safe zone. But she says she has had moments where she has had a seizure in public.
"It's very scary for not just me but for them to just sit there and watch it but overall most people have done it or taken it very well," Hanson said.
She says despite the obstacle of now being Epileptic, it hasn't slowed her down.
"I would never have got to experience the things that I have and go through some of the stuff that I have gone through if that hadn't had happened," Hanson said. "I'm most definitely blessed to still be here. God definitely had his hand on me and to be quite honest with you I'm glad that I'm here—I'm so blessed," Hanson said.
Kim is also a National Honor Society member and has a full scholarship to Abilene Christian University. She says she is so excited to see what the future brings.
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