Just 2 ½ weeks after a potentially fatal plane propeller accident, Lauren Scruggs is watching television, opening an avalanche of supportive mail and exercising regularly.
The road to recovery for the 23-year-old Dallas-area model and fashion blogger has been filled with “miracle after miracle,’’ her family wrote on CaringBridge.org, the site they use to update her rapid recovery.Video: ‘Miracle after miracle’ for severely injured model (on this page)
“The best present we have received this Christmas is her life,’’ they wrote.
She has even renewed her passion for fashion, picking out her own clothes and dressing herself during her rehabilitation from the accident that severed her left hand and precipitated the removal of her left eye last week. She will soon be fitted for a prosthesis to replace her eye.Story: Injured model loses left eye, will wear prosthesis
“She really shouldn’t be alive, so we feel blessed in that,’’ her mother, Cheryl Scruggs, told reporters. “Although she has some challenges ahead and we do too, we’re lucky to have her.’’
On December 3, Scruggs walked into a still-spinning propeller at Aero Country Airport, about 30 miles from Dallas. She was moving in the darkness toward the front of the plane — possibly to thank the pilot, Curt Richmond, who was a friend of hers. Within a week of the accident she was able to walk and talk.
She is now out of intensive care and has begun her rehabilitation at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, riding a stationary bike, according to her family.Story: Lauren smiles: Injured model reaches new milestone
“Lauren is a little fighter,’’ her father told reporters. “She loves to work out. The physical therapist will say 'do 10 of these,' or 'raise your leg 10 times,' and she does 12, or 'take 20 steps,' and she takes 30.’’
Scruggs also has resumed her healthy diet, requesting her favorite foods like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and gluten-free chocolate cake. On Tuesday afternoon, she also opened a large pile of mail, her second since last week, from well-wishers hoping for a speedy recovery.
“She is amazed at how many people she doesn’t even know are pouring love and encouragement into her and our family,’’ her mother wrote on CaringBridge.
She is back to engaging in the American national pastime — plopping on the couch to watch some television. Her family also brought in one of her favorite holiday movies, “The Santa Clause.’’
“It's fun watching her get out of bed on her own, and love when she joins us on the couch to watch a little TV,’’ her mother wrote.Story: Injured model walks, sees own face for the first time
The deeply religious family credits the power of God for aiding in Scruggs’s improvement, and has also set up the Lauren Scruggs Hope Fund to help defray the cost of the numerous surgeries involved in her recovery.
Scruggs is the creator of her own style website, LoLo Magazine, and has worked as a stylist on “Gossip Girl.’’ Affectionately known as “Lo’’ by her family, she is a 2009 graduate of Dallas Baptist University.
The Federal Aviation Association is conducting an ongoing investigation of the accident and why the propeller was still moving when Scruggs exited the plane.
“It appears the pilot left the engine running at idle when she exited the plane to switch places with another passenger,’’ an official from the FAA told RadarOnline.
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints