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The Scruggs family's latest update posts reveal the physical and emotional toll Lauren's recovery has had on the whole family.
TODAY contributor
updated 1/9/2012 2:19:05 PM ET 2012-01-09T19:19:05

Injured model Lauren Scruggs hit a new milestone, writing a message on her website for the first time since losing her eye and hand after a plane propeller accident last month.

“I don’t know how to thank each one of you, properly, for so much love during this difficult incident in my life,” she wrote in a Lolo magazine post dated Jan. 9. “My heart is so grateful beyond what I could ever imagine. So thank you dearly for the sweet encouragements, the precious words in letters and messages, the beautiful grace in pretty presents, but mostly I am so SO thankful for you and your loving hearts and sweet spirits.”

The post was signed “love, lo,” which is a nickname used by her friends and family.

While she has been recovering, the 23-year-old model and her family are now enduring the arduous reality of her rehabilitation.

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“This is serious business, and much harder than we could have ever dreamed: she's had a brain injury which requires a great amount of sleep and rest,’’ wrote her mother, Cheryl Scruggs, Saturday on CaringBridge.org. “Talking is a major effort, and wears her out. Her severe shoulder injury slows her down in the simple things, like trying to dress herself, taking a shower, or putting lotion on after a shower."

Story: Injured model Lauren Scruggs makes first outing

The days have been long and filled with physical and emotional stress for Scruggs and her family. On Sunday, the exhaustion was palpable: Cheryl, too tired to write on the site they use to update well-wishers on Lauren's progress, simply signed off.

"I have come to sit down tonight and write, but am emotionally drained, and physically tired," she wrote. "God has given me things to share, so I will see you in the morning."

After suffering brain trauma, the loss of her left hand, a shoulder injury and the eventual removal of her left eye from the accident on Dec. 3, Lauren is confronted with what her mother calls the "new norm."

"It's hard to raise her left shoulder just to put her arm in the shirt sleeve," Cheryl wrote Saturday. "Losing her left hand and her left eye makes life a different ball game altogether. Depth perception doesn't exist anymore. Not easy to overcome for walking or driving, but doable."

Story: Injured model is ‘making remarkable strides’

Despite the difficulty, the doctors at Parkland Hospital in Dallas are encouraged by Lauren's progress.

On Jan. 5, Lauren awoke at 6 a.m. crying and trying to take deep breaths because of “horrendous’’ pain," Cheryl shared. Her parents rubbed her feet and massaged her right arm with oil as tears trickled down their daughter’s face. “We still have a long road ahead of us,’’ she wrote.

Video: Injured model makes first public outing (on this page)

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Video: Injured model makes first public outing

  1. Closed captioning of: Injured model makes first public outing

    >>> we have more good news to share on the recovery of a texas model who walked into a plane's spinning propeller. lauren scruggs has now taken her first public outing since that accident. we go to plano texas for more. janet, good morning.

    >> reporter: carl, good morning to you. you can't blame her for wanting to get out of that rehab center if only for a few hours. and what better mood lifter than retail therapy ? but no large shopping malls or even trendy little boutiques for her first outing. we are told she headed directly to her favorite food store. as her mother describes it it was lauren 's first adventure since that awful accident just four and a half weeks ago. word of the 23-year-old model and fashion blogger choose for her first public outing? she went shopping. not for clothing but to the texas -based grocery store known for its natural and organic products -- whole foods. on the blog where cheryl scruggs has been updating lauren 's process cheryl writes, we love you, whole foods. we had many complete strangers stop us with tears in their eyes saying they've been praying for lo and for our family.

    >> hi. i'm lauren scruggs .

    >> reporter: the field trip not with standing, lauren 's recovery hasn't been easy. she lost her left hand in the accident and doctors later had to remove her left eye . she labors through hours of physical therapy every day and as her mom reports she is still in considerable pain. on wednesday cheryl wrote, we've had a few tough days, but things finally smoothed out yesterday. so many are following lauren 's story the blog has topped 800,000 hits. well wishers and close friends encouraged by her progress.

    >> she is doing phenomenally well. you can't believe it.

    >> i think she is going to come back stronger.

    >> her friends and neighbors continue to offer support at events like this fundraiser last week to help pay her medical bills. they believe she'll be back action soon. but what is lauren thinking? lauren told her mom her new life isn't what she would have chosen but she understands that this is what god chose for her and she is excited by the possibilities of using the experience to help others. this is a pretty big step for her and it is likely she'll venture out more in the coming weeks. we've also heard lauren has been able to reconnect with many of her friends just within the last week but it's her family, mom, dad, and twin sister who have been the constant by her side during this amazing recovery. carl?

    >> a lot of people thinking about her. thank you very much, janet.


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