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Video: Injured model sees face after propeller injury

  1. Closed captioning of: Injured model sees face after propeller injury

    >>> but first, good news on the recovery of a young model . she had walked into the spinning propeller of a plane. janet shamblian is here with more on this.

    >> reporter: ann, good morning. it's been less than a week since this accident. despite critical injuries, lawrence scruggs is walking, talking, and yesterday she looked in the mirror for the first time. and what she said afterwards gives us a glimpse of who this young woman is, and that her beauty isn't just skin deep. dirty. that was the word lawrence scruggs spoke after she took her first steps after that propeller accident. we're thinking, what does that mean? she said win walked 30 steps.

    >> reporter: 30 steps on what could be a long road to recovery. in a news conference thursday, scruggs parents say their daughter doesn't remember the accident.

    >> she doesn't know -- she can't remember any detail of it at all.

    >> reporter: it was last saturday night, scruggs boarded a private plane in the dallas area to look at christmas lights in the air. the 23-year-old had just climbed out of the single engine plane when she walked directly into the propeller.

    >> it was dark and we were thinking that lauren came back to thank the pilot and she didn't see that the propeller was winding down.

    >> lauren 's family says it was an accident and they don't plane the pilot who has yet to comment on the accident. a part-time model and fashion blogger, lauren suffers a number of critical injuries, including a severed hand, trauma to her face, head and shoulder and the possibility she may still lose her left eye.

    >> she is excelling in the physical and occupational therapies. they're not concerned about that but it's nor the cognitive therapy she'll need after this.

    >> reporter: her parents say she is showing signs of her old self.

    >> she has hurry spunk back, her permit.

    >> reporter: and her positive attitude.

    >> she looked and she said, well, it's not that bad.

    >> yeah.

    >> so that was really encouraging. and she still has her beautiful smile.

    >> lauren 's parents say they don't know the extent of any brain damage she may have at this point, but with her progress so far, they are very encouraged. and clearly, ann, this young woman is a fighter. back to you.

    >> all right. that is very clear. janet shamblian, thank you.

Image: Lauren Scruggs
TODAY
Model Lauren Scruggs, badly injured by a plane propeller last weekend, has walked for the first time since her accident, her family reports.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 12/8/2011 12:10:06 PM ET 2011-12-08T17:10:06

Less than a week after a plane-propeller accident severed her left hand, fractured her skull and lacerated her face, Lauren Scruggs is walking again and has looked in a mirror for the first time.

Video: Injured model sees face after propeller injury (on this page)

In a news conference Thursday, Scruggs' parents said their daughter doesn't remember what happened to her.

She knows she "was in a bad accident," said mom Cheryl. "But she can't remember any detail of it at all."

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Lauren used a mirror to look at her face for the first time, her dad said. And her response showed promising signs that her old "spunk" was back.

"She looked and she said, 'That's not that bad,'" he told reporters. "So that was really encouraging. You know what, and she still has her beautiful smile."

First word of Lauren's steps came Wednesday morning, when the family of the 23-year-old model and fashion blogger from Dallas updated her condition on her CaringBridge.org page, writing, “Lauren Walks!’’

“This morning, Lauren experienced a victory!’’ the site reads. “Earlier, the physical therapist assisted Lauren in walking for the first time.

Story: Parents of injured model: 'She will fight through this'

“Once she got halfway there, she said, '30.' Not sure what she meant, (her family) asked her what that means, she replied, 'Steps!' What a praise, she was counting every step that she took!"

At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Scruggs landed at Aero Country Airport, about 30 miles from Dallas, after flying with a pilot friend to view the Christmas lights in the area. While moving in darkness toward the front of the plane after landing, Scruggs walked into the still-spinning propeller.

Video: Injured model’s parents: Lauren ‘is a fighter’ (on this page)

It struck her left side, severing her left hand, fracturing her skull, causing a brain injury and breaking her left collarbone. She also suffered extensive damage to her left eye, which she could still possibly lose.

“The left eye is still non-responsive,’’ the latest CaringBridge page update reads. “The doctors will continue monitoring it for the next few days. Also, please pray her (sic) Lauren as she begins to learn the extent of her injuries and continue to pray away all infections.’’

"She's excelling in physical and occupational therapies," Jeff Scruggs told reporters Thursday. "They're not as concerned about that, but it's more a concern in the cognitive and neurological therapies she's going to need after this."

Video: Model’s first words after accident: ‘I love you’ (on this page)

“She is just a fighter, and she will fight through this,’’ Cheryl Scruggs told Ann Curry in a TODAY interview Tuesday. “She will make it through, and she will use it for good. She’s going to have a tough time when she finds out ... everything that’s happened, and losing her left hand is really a tough thing, but she’ll fight.’’

The plane had landed to pick up another passenger, and her parents believe Lauren was walking toward the front of the plane to thank the pilot, a friend of hers, when she collided with the moving propeller. The pilot could not be reached by NBC for comment, but Scruggs’ parents believe it was an accident and not negligence on the pilot’s part.

Since Lauren will need numerous additional surgeries, according to doctors, her parents have also set up the Lauren Scruggs Hope Fund as a way to raise money to help pay for her medical bills. Donations can be made at any Frost Bank or through PayPal to laurenscruggshopefund@gmail.com.

“She’s just going to need a lot of care for a long time,’’ her father said. “More than anything, we just covet your prayers, especially for the next couple weeks.’’

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