A young Omaha mother is on the road to recovery after her life was turned upside down last September. She swerved to miss a deer and crashed her car into a ditch. Now she's in a wheelchair.
Now, she had just one goal on her mind, to walk again.
It's a life Lindsay Ptacek had never thought she would lead, a life from the confines of a wheelchair, rolling to where she needs to go, no use of her legs.
It was a split-second decision that forever changed Ptacek's life. "Everybody always tells you to hit the deer, I did the exact opposite and I swerved. I landed in the floorboard and I remembered thinking, why can't I get up."
The damage to the SUV was minimal, just a cracked windshield and a few dents from the accident.
Doctors said Lindsay fractured her C5/C6 vertebra in the upper part of the spine. It's what's called an incomplete spinal cord injury. What that means, doctors say, is she didn't break or shatter the bones. Lindsay says it's enough hope for a full recovery.
"I think it was maybe a day or two after the accident, it's a hard pill to swallow and even at that time, I said no, I am going to walk again, some way, some how I'll walk again."
Slowly, she's gained feeling back in her right leg, but she concedes it has been a daily struggle for recovery. Each day it's about staying positive and being determined to once again walk. "You have to look that the things, there are going to be things you can't do, don't look at it that way, look at the things you can do, focus on the positive."
Doctors say Ptacek's positive outlook is such an inspiration inside the recovery center that they've invited her back to talk to other patients who are going through similar spinal injuries.