'I basically got out of the plane, right onto the propeller': Lauren Scruggs reveals horrific moment she lost her arm and eye (but shows how she can still do push-ups)
15:41 GMT, 16 November 2012
Lauren Scruggs has revealed for the first time what actually happened in the horrific accident that robbed her of left arm and eye, and changed her life in an instant.
The 24-year-old, from Dallas, Texas, spoke on Today about the December 3 accident, where she walked into a still-spinning plane propeller, in the lead up to a Dateline interview that airs Friday November 16 at 10pm.
With little memory of the accident, she explained: 'My dad actually went to look at the plane. I was always taught to get out in front of the wing, but when you do that [with this kind of plane] you're basically on the propeller. So I think I basically just got out onto it.'
Reliving the moment: Lauren Scruggs has revealed for the first time what actually happened in the horrific accident that robbed her of left arm and eye, and changed her life in an instant
She added: 'I remember getting into the plane, and I was fearful for some reason. We landed, which I thought was interesting, because I thought we might crash. I remember my feet touching the ground, but that's all I remember.'
Her mother, who was also on the Today show with her husband, Lauren's father, explained how the pair had been to church, before going over to some friends' for dinner, 'like we always do.'
'They live in an airport so we ate dinner, and then they decided they were going to do some recreational flying, look at some Christmas lights and everything,' she said.
'Then, she was out there laying on her stomach in a pool of blood and I wasn't really sure if she was dead or alive.'
Speaking about the bleak diagnosis given
by the paramedics at the time, her father said: 'They warned us there
was a potential she wouldn't have the same personality, that she may
never form a sentence again, but as you can see today, that's the case.'
Strength in family: The 24-year-old, from Dallas, spoke on Today with her mother and father about the December 3 accident, where she walked into a still-spinning plane propeller
Normal exercise: Speaking about living life with only one hand, the fashion blogger and former model said: 'It's amazing how your body just does what it needs to do – things that were hard in the beginning a lot easier now'
Working hard: Lauren says she is off pain medication, doing rehab every day to strengthen her muscles, and is 'feeling really well' for the first time since the accident
Lauren admits the hardest thing about the accident was loosing her hand.
'It changes your life,' she said. 'You appreciate life a lot more, my compassion for people has strengthened, I have compassion I couldn't have had before. It was a dose of reality, and was hard to see.'
Speaking about living life with only one hand, the fashion blogger and former model said: 'It's amazing how your body just does what it needs to do – things that were hard in the beginning a lot easier now. I don't really think about them now.'
The blonde beauty is also honest in how her injured looks deeply affected her in her interview with Dateline.
'[When I saw myself], I think I just saw the reality of what
had happened. I had my eye patch on, I didn’t have my hand, half my head
was shaved. I was just thinking, “Wow. How life can change in an
instant and how that’s not the way I have looked in the past.”'
Living with scars: The blonde beauty is also honest in how her injured looks deeply affected her in her interview with Dateline later tonight
Handling her new hand: Lauren admits the hardest thing about the accident was loosing her hand, saying 'It changes your life. You appreciate life a lot more, my compassion for people has strengthened
The fashion blogger also spoke to People
magazine this week about the future and learning to live with three
different prosthetic limbs, hair extensions where her head was shaved
and having to do everything with one hand.
A sometimes fashion model before the accident, Lauren revealed she has struggled to come to terms with her changing looks.
She said: 'Sometimes it's easy to
dwell on the fact that I don't look the same. I still struggle with that
– I want to look nice. But every day I'm feeling better and better.'
I got home from hospital I would cry a lot and it was hard to look in
the mirror. Before the accident I would get a lot of attention for the
way I looked, so I held a lot of my identity there.
Brave face: A long scar can be seen running down the left side of Lauren Scruggs's face as she talks to Dateline's Natalie Morales
Lauren said: 'I think I just saw the reality of what had happened. I had my eye patch on and didn't have my hand and half my head was shaved and I was just thinking, “Wow, how life can change in an instant”
'But these things aren't going to make you feel whole. They're empty things.'
Wondering if any guy would ever like her because of her prosthetic arms, she reveals she now feels good about them.
has three different arms – her passive prosthetic which she can't move
but looks incredibly lifelike, her workout prosthetic which she uses for
boxing and other exercises and another arm that come with attachments,
including a paddle-like device for swimming.
Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family's Journey of Hope, by Lauren Scruggs and published by Tyndale House is out on November 15
She is in rehab for up to three hours a day to practice ordinary tasks without her left hand and can now tie her shoes, put her hair up and drive – which she does with the help of her knee.
Referring to losing her hand, she said: 'Reality hit me when I got off my pain medication. I just wanted my hand back. I went through the process of grieving and still am today.
'My doctor told me that losing your hand is like losing someone in your family. Because it's a part of you.'
The MailOnline revealed last week ahead of her book launch that she screamed:
‘I am so ugly!’ in a fit of rage as she struggled to come to terms with
the enormity of her horrific injuries after walking into the plane
Consumed with a 'primal, uncontrollable anger, she yelled: 'My life is ruined, no one will ever love me!'
book also details the moment she looked at herself in the mirror naked
for the first time since the accident and collapsed in a ‘storm of
mourning’ after staring at the dent in her shaven skull with titanium
plates in it, the scar down her face, her sagging lip, her missing left
eye, her missing left hand and four cracked teeth.
The book is the first time the
24-year-old fashion blogger has spoken in depth of the moment she walked
into a spinning airplane propeller in December last year – and her
slow, agonizing recovery.
Publicize: Lauren with NBC's Natalie Morales plugging her memoir Still Lolo on Today – to be aired on November 16
Injuries: Lauren Scruggs tweeted this picture of herself with her parents and a friend last week – it is the first picture in which her arm scars can be seen
Lauren tweeted this picture today backstage at the Katie Couric show, with her twin sister Brittany and mother Cheryl. Her 'passive prosthetic arm' can be seen
/10/28/article-0-15B82F21000005DC-538_634x633.jpg” width=”634″ height=”633″ alt=”Brave: Lauren Scruggs, right, posing with her prosthetic left on display while out and about in Memphis, Texas” class=”blkBorder” />
Brave: Lauren Scruggs, right, posing with her prosthetic left on display while out and about in Memphis, Texas
'My dream car': Lauren again with her mum and showing off her left prosthetic limb
‘Then I crumpled onto the floor of the shower and sobbed’.
The accident which changed her life
happened after she and family friend Curt Richmond had gone out in a
small plane to see the Christmas lights above his Dallas home.
In the dramatic 911 call placed at
8.43pm on December 3, a woman can be heard saying: ‘A girl walked into
an airplane prop – I need an ambulance immediately. I think it cut her
A male voice can also be heard
moaning and crying and when asked what part of her body was hit, he
says: 'We don’t know, we haven’t turned her over.’
In her own words, Lauren deals with the incident in the briefest terms.
She writes: ‘I remember the sky was black; we were on the dark side of the plane.
‘It was December 3, 2011, and after that split second, I remember absolutely nothing.'
Lauren Scruggs tweeted this picture yesterday saying: 'Doing some filming action. Long day. Fun day.'
The memoir includes chapters by Lauren’s family, including her mother Cheryl who was among the first on the scene.
In her dramatic account she describes the moment when she realized something was terribly wrong.
Cheryl writes that as the paramedics
were packing Lauren into the stretcher, she asked: ‘Why is my hand
white’ Lauren asked loudly through the screams. ‘I can’t see it! I
can’t see it!’ Her shirt was over her hand’.
Lauren was rushed to Parkland
Hospital in Dallas where doctors stabilized her condition, and allowed
Cheryl and Lauren’s father Jeff in to see her for the first time.
In those early days Cheryl wrote on
her blog how the only way to keep her daughter from agonizing pain was
to keep her distracted but that when she tried to sleep it came
‘ferociously at times’.
Good as new: Lauren Scruggs pictured with a friend shows off her incredibly realistic left prosthetic arm and new eye in a photo tweeted yesterday
Despite all that she has been though, Lauren writes in the memoir that her trauma has given her a ‘new perspective’ on the world.
She has taken a long look at her life
and has realized ‘there was so much more to my life than being worried
about how I looked’, she says.
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