18-year-old Khalia Carter who sustained brain injury in a car accident has overcome as she graduates with good grades from Fort Myers High School in the United States.
Khakia Carter, a Florida teen was hit at the rear-end of her car by a drunk motorcycle rider on her way home in April. The impact of the hit forced her car descending down the road at about 90 miles an hour before she crashed into a ditch.
Khalia was immediately rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, a mobility disorder, speech impairment, and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident.
“I felt a big crash and my car was spinning and I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t control the wheel. I couldn’t press the gas or the brake. Nothing was working. After that, I got out the car and I just started screaming once it stopped,” Khalia recalled.
“Some days are very hard and some days, I just get emotional and I’m not even an emotional person. This journey has been a lot and dealing with a brain injury is probably one of the worst things you can go through because your brain is really sensitive,” she added.
Despite all she went through, Khalia said she made up her mind to focus on getting better with the support of her family, staying positive, and setting a goal from the very beginning to get better in time to walk the stage at her upcoming high school graduation.
“I was determined. Nobody was going to stop me from doing that. I knew, as soon as it happened, I told my mom in the hospital that I’m still going to go to graduation. After I was getting stronger every day, I decided, maybe it’d be surprising if I shocked everybody and walked across the stage and why not? So I pushed every day as hard as I can and gave 110% every day at therapy, to try to be able to walk across the stage,” she said.
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She went from not being able to walk, to using a wheelchair, and then a walker, to just a little over four weeks after the crash, and was able to join the rest of the Fort Myers High School Class of 2022 to walk across the stage at her high school graduation.
“This was such a huge milestone. Khalia had so many odds against her. It’s hard for her to be in a big crowded environment and so for her to take the initiative to go and be around such a large crowd was huge for her. So to see her take the initiative to do it and walk across that stage by herself? It was amazing,” Shawnda Cook, Khalia mother said.
Khalia mentioned that she is still in therapy and plans to keep progressing. She added that she is hoping to get well enough to still attend Georgia Southern University soon with a plan to pursue a degree in either journalism or education.
“I don’t want to change my mind because I know that it’s always been a dream so I’m going to try to stick to it and try to make it happen,” she explained.