Portland teen recovering after crash on Highway 26 almost paraly - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland teen recovering after crash on Highway 26 almost paralyzed her

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Caitlyn Potter (Courtesy of Melinda Potter) Caitlyn Potter (Courtesy of Melinda Potter)
Caitlyn Potter and Kendra Cornwell (Courtesy of Melinda Potter) Caitlyn Potter and Kendra Cornwell (Courtesy of Melinda Potter)
TILLAMOOK COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

Doctors thought she would be paralyzed for life but a young woman who survived a deadly crash on Highway 26 is making a miraculous recovery.

Caitlyn Potter, 18, was driving east on Highway 26 in Tillamook County on March 16 when she lost control of her vehicle and drove into oncoming traffic, hitting two vehicles.

Five people were injured and two were killed in the crash. One of the victims killed was Potter's best friend, 19-year-old Kendra Cornwell, who was riding in the passenger seat.

Although Potter survived, doctors told FOX 12 she sustained a serious injury known as an "internal decapitation."

"She has an injury where essentially your skull is separated from the spinal column," said Dr. David Zonies, OHSU trauma surgeon.

Potter also suffered a ruptured spleen and a major brain injury. 

Although she's unable to speak, her mom, Melinda, says she is communicating, answering yes and no questions by blinking.

FOX 12 learned that Potter is making steady progress every day.

"At least she's kicking, so that's fantastic. From what I've researched about her condition only 30 percent of people who've had her AO dissociation survive that kind of an incident and only one percent are not paralyzed. My child is not paralyzed," said Melinda.

Doctor's say Potter will need extensive rehabilitation.

Her family has started a crowdfunding campaign to help with medical bills. 

Anyone who would like to help can visit gogetfunding.com/miracles-for-caitlyn-potter

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