PROVO — A BYU student who suffered critical head injuries last week after being hit by a car just outside the campus boundaries is making remarkable progress.
Lexi Hansen, 18, was alert and breathing on her own Tuesday, though she was still listed in critical but stable condition. She even tried to get out of her hospital bed. While she has a long road to recovery ahead, her family believes they have witnessed a miracle.
“When they brought her in, the doctors gave her less than a 5 percent chance of survival,” said Doug Hansen, Lexi’s father. “They told us to call our family and get them here quickly because she wasn’t going to last too long.”
Just before 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, Lexi was riding her longboard while crossing the street in a crosswalk at the intersection of University Avenue and Canyon Road when the accident occurred. No alcohol, drugs or texting were believed to have played a role in the crash, police said.
Lexi suffered head injuries and was in a coma for several days. But Sunday, she came out of the coma as her family sang hymns around her.
“We had the most amazing experience today at the end of everyone's fast,” the family wrote on the Pray for Lexi Facebook Page. “Lexi opened her eyes and kept them open for nearly an hour while we sang hymns to her as a family. While we were singing, she hand signed, 'I love you,' moving her arm around so that everyone could see. She then reached for each person's hands individually so she could squeeze them. We could hardly sing due to the tears streaming down our face. We knew we were witnessing a miracle.”
Lexi's mother, Marcia Hansen, says Lexi is a fighter. Every day she is improving on the previous day, she said.
“Every single day is a miracle, every single day,” Marcia Hansen said. “It was a zero percent when she was found, then 1 percent the next day. Now there are still a few things that we are not sure of, but almost everything is just positive.”
On Monday, Lexi had her breathing tube removed and started breathing on her own. She is now starting speech and physical therapy.
"Every doctor and nurse that comes in there, and therapist and whatever, they are just like, ‘You know this isn't supposed to happen. You know we are calling her the miracle girl, right?’” Marcia Hansen said.
Lexi's parents say they are finding strength in their faith and believe her recovery is nothing short of a miracle.
“We know it’s because of God,” Marcia Hansen said. “We know he’s a God of miracles. And the prayers and faiths everybody that have been praying for her. That’s the only reason she is where she’s at.”
"Two weeks ago, she said to me, 'You know, Mom, to be a motivational speaker, everybody has been in some big accident or something.' Yesterday I reminded her of that."
Lexi’s parents said they are very grateful for all the love and support they have been receiving from friends, family and even strangers.
“I think it started with Lexi because of her friends, because she’s a bright spirit,” Marcia Hansen said. “I think on top of that, it was because people wanted to join in and have a miracle happen and pray and to help someone that could possibly lose their life.”
Lexi is a communications major at BYU and wants to be a motivational speaker. It’s something she’s wanted to do since she was little, her mother said.
“Two weeks ago, she said to me, ‘You know, Mom, to be a motivational speaker, everybody has been in some big accident or something.’ Yesterday I reminded her of that.”
The family doesn’t hold the driver who hit Lexi responsible. They say it was just an accident.
“We’ve reached out to him,” Marcia Hansen said. “We had dinner with him the other night at the hospital. He’s gone through torment. We just wanted him to know that accidents happen, and we love him and we don’t want him to feel guilty. We feel like he has been a catalyst for all this to happen, to have all this love come out in the community."
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc