A young woman who miraculously survived a horror car crash that ‘broke her body from head to toe’ says she refuses to let the accident stop her from living.
Kelsey Tarrant, 20, was driving her 2004 Nissan Pulsar with a passenger to her parent’s farm on March 12 around 6.50am to work as a fencing labourer in Taupo, New Zealand.
But upon reaching the bottom of a hill, a man who was later found to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, slammed into Ms Tarrant’s car head on.
Ms Tarrant says she remembers little of the crash except spitting out loose teeth into the hand of a paramedic and asking him to deliver it to her parents.
She then spent the next seven weeks in hospital, underwent seven different surgeries totalling 35 hours and has only recently been able to walk without the use of crutches.
Kelsey Tarrant, 20, was driving her 2004 Nissan Pulsar to her parent’s farm on March 12 around 6.50am to work as a fencing labourer in Taupo, New Zealand
The 20-year-old underwent seven surgeries following the crash after breaking multiple bones and suffering a severe concussion
‘I remember the windscreen draping over my face. I remember I spat my teeth out into someone’s hand and said ‘can you take this to mum and dad’,’ Ms Tarrant told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Apparently I was conscious and talking to paramedics but I don’t remember anything.’
The extensive list of injuries the 20-year-old sustained was enough for emergency workers to believe she was dead.
‘One of the firefighters said ‘I don’t know how you’ve done it but you’re still alive. You shouldn’t’ be alive’,’ Ms Tarrant said.
‘Everyone has told me a body shouldn’t physically be able to take that.’
It took an hour for her to be removed from the wreck and she was then airlifted in a critical condition to Waikato Hospital.
‘I broke from head to toe. I had severe concussion, whiplash. I broke my nose and jaw in three places. Fractured my sternum and ribs. Broke my pelvis in three places,’ she said.
She then spent the next three weeks in Waikato Hospital before being transferred to a local hospital in Taupo for another month where she spent majority of the time bedridden.
The extensive list of injuries the 20-year-old sustained was enough for paramedics to believe she was dead
Ms Tarrant spent seven weeks in hospital before returning home to spend another month in a wheelchair
KELSEY TARRANT’S INJURIES SUSTAINED AFTER CRASH
Severe concussion and whiplash
Broken nose and crown fractures
Jaw broken in three places
Fractured sternum and ribs
Fractured and dislocated right shoulder
Fracture in left forearm
Broken pelvis in three places
Lower spine and tailbone fractures
Dislocated right knee and compound fracture in the left
Mutilated right ankle
Bruised bladder, lungs, crushed spleen and other internal injuries
She was finally able to return home but was confined to a wheelchair.
Remarkably she started to walk with crutches just three weeks ago – adding she only uses them when she needs to.
Throughout her traumatic journey, Ms Tarrant says she’s tried her best to stay positive.
‘I’ve been told I may never have a physical job again or play physical sport,’ she said.
‘It’s my goal to work towards those things and if I can’t do them fully I’ll do them to my best ability. I have a lot of things I plan on doing with my life.’
Her mother, Jeni Tarrant, said alarm bells started to ring when Kelsey didn’t show up for work.
She noticed her daughter hadn’t been active on social media for several hours and had heard about a crash near the home from a friend.
‘We looked at websites, rang police, rang the hospital but couldn’t get a hold of anybody,’ Mrs Tarrant said.
‘We were just about to leave and then the cops came up the drive. (The sergeant) just said ‘they’re both alive’.
Despite the fact the man responsible for her daughter’s injuries was driving under the influence, Mrs Tarrant holds no animosity towards him.
Despite the traumatic accident, Ms Tarrant is determined to live her life to the fullest
‘It’s quite strange. I have no reaction to him and I don’t know why,’ the mother said.
‘It’s like he doesn’t exist, I have no feeling toward him. He doesnt matter, I thought I would be angry but I’m not. Otherwise it would consume you.’
Ms Tarrant who is well on the road to recovery now plans to visit schools to create awareness of road safety.
She also has joined the Bluelight Committee which works in line with the police to help issues in the community.
‘You might think you’re the best driver in the world but it’s not always your fault, I learnt that,’ the 20-year-old said.
‘It’s been my biggest thing from the start to be as positive as possible. I’m very outgoing but now I’m covered in all these scars and no matter what u can see them.
‘I’ve just tried to keep a very positive mindset, I have had my days where I’ve been ‘why has this happened what did I do to deserve this’, but I don’t let it last.
‘I’d just like to thank everyone who was involved, I wouldn’t be here without them.’
A man has been charged in relation to the crash, including driving while under the influence of drugs and causing injury, driving while disqualified, dangerous driving and failing to stop or ascertain injury after a crash.
Ms Tarrant who is well on the road to recovery now plans to visit schools to create awareness of road safety