Thursday, March 9, 2017

Girl Chat - A Time You Were Really Lucky

Today is the second Girl Chat monthly link-up! This month we are talking about a time we were really lucky. My time goes way back to August 7, 2002. That day sticks out in my mind as it was a day that not only changed my best friend's life, but it changed mine. This story isn't very happy, but it does have a happy ending and I also do not have many photos from it as it is a time we try not to remember too much in detail.

In Reno, Nevada, during the first week of August, we have an event called Hot August Nights. It is a week long event where many places showcase old cars. There are parades, car shows, auctions and so many parties that go along with it. The cars are beautiful. the sun is shining and it brings so many people to town. It is also my birthday week which means it is extra special.
Hot August Nights Reno NV

Back in 2002, I was just about to start my sophomore year of college. April, one of my best friends, and I were moving into an apartment together in Reno and were all set for the school year to come. But first, we were finishing out our first summer after our freshman year of college. We had just celebrated my birthday earlier in the week and my friends wanted to go to Hot August Nights in Reno. I was living at home during the summer since I had just moved out of my college dorm room and was waiting for my lease to start. April lived in Carson as well.

She and her boyfriend wanted to go to Hot August Nights and her boyfriend was going to drive us. I was going to go, but then decided against it as something told me to just stay home. Stay home and hang out with my mom since I didn't get to do that very often.

April and her boyfriend headed to Reno in his Chevy S10 pickup (small truck). While driving to Reno, a bigger work truck tried to turn from the highway to a small side street. He thought he could make it before traffic caught up to him, but he was wrong. He t-boned April boyfriends truck. The work truck rolled, but the driver had minor injuries because he was drunk. There was open beer cans in his truck at the time of the accident.

The S10 took a beating so to speak. The driver's side was the side that was struck. April's boyfriend sustained minor-ish injuries. The steering wheel dropped on his legs and the airbag deployed. He had to use his elbow to break the window since he could not get his door open. He sustained cuts and bruises through that. April was far worse. While her airbag deployed, her seat belt failed. She sustained injuries from the seat belt crushing her body (the seat belt left a bruise across her body). She also hit her face on the dashboard which shattered it. She also had cuts and bruises all over her body.

I got a phone call that night from April's dad telling me what had happened and when I could come up to the hospital. April's injuries were so bad that she was in the ICU for over 2 weeks. Then she was in the general care area for another week. She had a tracheotomy (tube in her throat), her mouth was wired shut from breaking her jaw, she had reconstructive surgery on her cheekbones, nose and forehead. She has had several plastic surgeries to reconstruct her face. And the first time I saw her in the hospital (hours after it happened), I was devastated. She could not talk for weeks and could only write on a notepad for everything. I visited her everyday that she was in the hospital. I was on the family list and brought her movies, books and just kept her company.

I was lucky to not be in that car. I would have been in the backseat of his S10. The backseat is tiny. A woman can barely fit back there. If I had been back there, I would have broken my legs, hit the backseat and who knows what other injuries my body would have sustained. The police told me I would have been badly hurt. Probably not as bad as April, but bad. And it would have derailed my college career as well. It derailed April's life. We did not move in together as the school year started as she was in the hospital. We were able to get out of lease without penalty and I lived at home until I found a house to live at near campus. But that is besides the point.

April is doing amazing today. She has healed from all her wounds and while the day still haunts her, she has lived her life to the fullest. I admire that about her. She had to live through it for a long time during court proceedings and living with a new face. But she is gorgeous and her plastic surgeon is the best.

I feel extremely lucky to not have been in that truck that day. I don't know what told me not to go, but something did. I just wish April had not gone.

But I learned a lot from the situation and so thankful that the drunk driver did not kill my best friend.
April is on the far right

To link up - just grab our graphic, link up, and let's getting to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others linked up for an extra bit of girl chat! 
Girl Chat Monthly Link Up

Danielle / Sparkles and Lattes - Bloglovin' - Pinterest - Instagram
Emily / A Little Bit of Emily - Bloglovin' - Pinterest - Instagram
Lindsay / Lindsay's Sweet World - Pinterest - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Lizzie / This Happy Life Bloglovin' - Pinterest - Facebook - Instagram
Sierra / Beautifully Candid - Bloglovin' - Pinterest - Instagram - Twitter


  1. Holy cow! Thank goodness you weren't in that truck. I'm so glad that April is okay today and was able to overcome all of her injuries.

  2. Oh my goodness, I am so glad to hear this story had a happy ending!!! And so glad you were not in that car!

  3. Wow! Talk about that intuition. I;m so glad that April is ok!

  4. I'm so glad that April is okay! Always trust your gut.

  5. Oh my goodness what a scary accident. So glad that April is okay!

  6. Wow, that is something. I'm so glad that April is okay and you just knew not to go, that is some intuition!

  7. Wow, seriously what are the chances you decided to stay home like that? So glad you did and so sorry to hear about your friends accident. I'm so happy she is ok and thriving today! Crazy how one little decision can change your whole life.

  8. Oh my goodness Danielle, this gave me chills. I am so glad to hear April is doing well today.

  9. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry all of this happened to you and your friend, but thank God everyone was ok (well sort of). It's always important to trust your instincts. I'm glad to hear she is doing well today. Beautifully Candid

  10. There is something incredible about those 'gut' feelings. So glad you didn't end up getting hurt, and so glad that your friend was okay.

  11. Oh my goodness! I am so glad that she is okay!

  12. OH wow... that does alawys make you stop & pause when you think of what could have happened. So glad your friend recovered too. This takes luck to a whole other level!

  13. OH MY GOSH Danielle, this is so scary! I'm terribly sorry to hear about your friend, but extremely happy to hear how much she has overcome today. She is beautiful. This is one of those rare events where you can see what a lucky decision you truly made. And, it was all sheer luck. Thank goodness. Thanks for sharing!

  14. This gave me chills. So glad lives were spared. I cannot imagine the battle she faced during recovery. And I love that you are all still friends!

  15. Danielle, goodness gracious! I cannot even imagine what April has been through. I am so so glad that this story had a happy ending, though. Your intuition is spot on, girl, so you should always listen to it!

  16. OMG this is a crazy story, I am so glad you did not get in that car and that your friend is okay today. The gut is usually right!

  17. Wow, that is a different take on the meaning of lucky! You're right though, you were lucky. And so was your friend in the end!

  18. Holy crappers gurlie! I'm soooo glad to hear your friend is doing amazing, and your guardian angel was working overtime that you weren't in the back of that truck <3
    Green Fashionista