On July 14, 2017, Medical City of Plano celebrated their designation as Collin County’s first Level 1 Trauma center. Trauma 1 represents the highest level of trauma care a hospital can provide. As part of the celebration, a 16-year-old trauma patient, Kendall Murray, shared her incredible story for the first time since a fatal car accident that killed two of her best friends and critically injured her.
February 10, 2017 was a heartbreaking day in Plano. Three teenage girls were driving down Mira Vista Boulevard at a high speed when the driver lost control of the car and it crashed into a tree. Two of the girls, Samantha Sacks and Lily Davis, died at the scene. But their friends, who saw the wreck from their own car, pulled Kendall Murray out of the wreck, saving her life.
Kendall spent a 39 day stretch in ICU, undergoing multiple surgeries and grieving the loss of her two best friends. She had watershed strokes, broken arms, a fractured skull and burns over 25 percent of her body.
“[Five months ago] I would have never believed [I’d be here.] I’d have said there’s no way this will be me in five months,” she told members of the press on Friday. “It’s been hard. It’s been a lot. I have a lot of great friends and family supporting me and picking me up when I’m down.” Kendall looks great. She’s highly motivated and making huge strides every day. As she speaks, it’s clear from the warm energy in the room that she is very much beloved by her family there to support her and the staff that has cared for her. Blue ribbons were tied to trees by her well-wishers during her recovery and her friends and family used #KendallStrong when they wrote about her on her You Caring site and on social media.
Kendall required the services of a Trauma ICU and a Burn ICU, a rare combination that Medical City of Plano was able to provide and played a huge role in her recovery. Today, she is living at home and doing physical therapy three times a day for one hour at a time, miles away from her hospital bed.
“I have pictures of them everywhere,” she says of Sam and Lily. “It helps me cope and know that they’re looking out for me and over me. My other friends [have gotten me through], the ones that were closest to Sam and Lily and knew them like I do.”
Moving forward, Kendall is working to recover stronger than ever. “I’m a 16 year old kid, I need to be able to run, jump, all that.” She played volleyball in school and hopes that she will be able to return to it one day. Some injuries, like radial nerve damage in her right hand, may never heal. “I used to be a righty now I’m a leftie,” she adds wryly. “It’s been kinda cool to see how lefties look at the world. It’s weird; everything is made for righties.”
Kendall has a long road to recovery but a bright spirit. At the end of her speech she thanked the staff at Medical City of Plano for seeing her through her recovery progress, and in the midst of resounding applause, walked back to her family where she was embraced.
Support Kendall and her family on YouCaring.com. #KendallStrong