Kristin VanNoord

Kristin VanNoord

It was an evening like any other as Kristin VanNoord was driving home from work a little over a week ago. However, that all changed in an instant when a collision left her severely injured and facing a challenging road to recovery.

The wreck occurred as VanNoord was driving along Highway 271 South. With no middle turning lane, she had to slam on her brakes and swerve when a driver in front of her stopped to turn left, but it was too little too late.

Following the crash, VanNoord needed serious medical attention; she’d suffered a fractured knee and a fractured hip, she sustained a severe concussion and she required 26 staples.

“On top of all the other injuries, there was a really big gash on my leg, and I really don’t even remember how it happened but my bone was exposed and they needed to repair it, only it wasn’t repairable,” she said. “They basically had to go in and shave part of it off and use staples to close it all up.”

VanNoord said she knows the road to recovery will be a long one. Currently, she is undergoing physical therapy from home,

“I didn’t walk for three days after that; it was that bad,” VanNoord said. “I’m still in a lot of pain but I’ve been doing (physical therapy) every day. My doctor gave me some workouts to do from home.

“I remember after the wreck happened, I tried to get out of my car, and we walk without really thinking about it, but I tried to get out of my car and my leg wouldn’t move. That was a really scary moment.”

Despite the challenges, VanNoord said she’s working to maintain a positive attitude.

“I keep telling myself that it’s hard but it could be so much worse,” she said. “I could’ve been paralyzed. I could be unable to ever walk again, but I can and every day it’s getting easier.”

Nearly as daunting as the physical therapy has been the medical costs that come with the surgeries and steps to recovery.

“When I saw the bills after the surgery, it was scary,” she said. “It’s really scary to look at that stuff and keep your head up. I wasn’t sure how exactly I was going to pay for it.”

Though VanNoord wasn’t sure how to pay for it, some of her closest friends and family had an idea. A fundraiser was set up through Facebook to help her pay for the expenses. When she found out, she said she was overwhelmed.

“It made me feel so loved,” she said.

The fundraiser, titled Kristin’s Medical Fundraiser, can be found at facebook.com/donate/952009811915024.

“It means so much to me that there are people who have reached out and helped,” she said.

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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