In her first interview since she walked into a spinning plane propeller eight months ago, Lauren Scruggs showed that her vibrant spirit remains intact.
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The 24-year-old fashion blogger and model from Plano, Texas, spoke to Savannah Guthrie in London on TODAY Thursday. Since her December accident at a private airport in McKinney, Texas, she has made a remarkable recovery. She has received a prosthetic eye and hand, and told Guthrie she is off of pain medication.Story: New photographs capture recovering model's smile
“Spiritually, I’ve just learned to live by faith and not by sight,’’ Scruggs said. “Even though I’ve lost my left eye, I’ve just realized that the Lord has a strong purpose in it, and I need to use that.’’
A devout Christian, Scruggs, nicknamed “Lolo,” has relied on her faith, her parents and her twin sister, Brittany, to persevere. Her story received worldwide attention, and her parents posted regular updates on her progress posted on the site CaringBridge.org. Those posts received more than 1.5 million visits.Story: Scruggs' dad prays she'll know ‘beauty comes from within’
“I’m feeling good,’’ Scruggs said. “I think physically, it’s good that I’m off all my pain meds and all medication and haven’t had pain since January, so that’s a blessing. Emotionally, days are hard sometimes, just accepting the loss of my eye and hand, but it just gets better and I realize God’s in control of my life and there’s a purpose to this story.’’
She has detailed her journey in a book, "Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, A Horrifying Accident, and A Family’s Journey of Hope," that will be released in November.
“It was really healing for me personally just to talk about the event, the accident, even reading things that I wasn’t sure of that everyone else went through,’’ Scruggs said. “I have kind of gained a new perspective of life and I feel like I need to use my message of hope and healing to help others, (and) inspire others, just like people have inspired me.’’Story: Lauren Scruggs takes first vacation, tweets photos
Scruggs, who is in London taking in the Olympics, also wanted to reveal her face publicly for the first time on her terms after being hounded by paparazzi in her hometown.
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“I just know that a lot of people have been following the story and even photographers trying to get photos,’’ she said. “It’s just good to be out in public just as I am and letting people know I’m doing OK and healing up.’’Story: Lauren Scruggs returns to blogging, looks for jeans
While Scruggs’ story has inspired others, she has drawn inspiration from the Olympic athletes. One of those inspiring figures is U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas, who paid Scruggs a surprise visit during the TODAY interview.
“I think Gabby is a real inspiration to me,’’ Scruggs said. “Just her spirit is so sweet and just how she professes her faith.’’
“I always wanted to inspire a nation and inspire people, so this means so much to me when you said you were inspired by me,’’ Douglas told Scruggs. “It’s just an amazing feeling. I’m so happy, so excited for you and all that you’ve overcome. Just keep staying strong and keep shining.’’
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