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Lauren "Lolo" Scruggs, the 24-year-old Texan accidentally struck by a moving airplane propeller last December, is sharing her emotional story of the day that forever changed her life on iamsecond.com, a website featuring authentic film testimonies of everyday people and celebrities with stories of personal struggle, transformation and hope.
Following the tragic incident, Lauren, who is the founder and editor-in-chief of the online fashion magazine LOLO, found herself learning to cope with the loss of her left hand and eye. Lauren and her mom Cheryl recount the many obstacles and blessings they have encountered since the accident on the video.
"As a mom you never dream your child is going to go through something like this," Cheryl said. "I couldn't give her hand back to her. I couldn't save her eye. There was nothing I could do to change it. But I did know she had a deep faith and I knew God would be our rock."
No strangers to the idea of living second, Lauren's parents Jeff and Cheryl were among the first individuals to release a video story on I am Second in 2008, upon the launch of the website on Dec. 2. Lauren's I am Second video begins with excerpts from her parents' own story of divorce, reconciliation and remarriage, which was filmed nearly two years to the day before her accident.
Following audio of the frantic 9-1-1 call, Cheryl describes the evening's innocent activities, which included an airplane ride with friends, but ended with the unbelievable news of the accident involving Lauren. What trailed was a series of long surgeries and a painful road to recovery.
Lauren's memories of the December evening are fuzzy. As she came home from the hospital and began weaning herself off pain medication, she started going through waves of anger and depression.
"I thought I was ugly and no guy would ever love me, and I just thought that my life was ruined," Lauren says in her I am Second video as she breaks into uncontrollable tears.
Doctors originally were not sure Lauren would ever regain her personality or even form full sentences. The experience, though not one she would have ever imagined, proved to be a miraculous recovery and has given Lauren a new mission in life.
"I'm seeing this life is way bigger than me," said Lauren. "Things I held important earlier in my career seem quite shallow now. I want to use what I've been through to talk to young girls and let them know our appearance is not what defines us."