Hannah Huntoon: Car surfing victim describes recovery

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Following a month of recovery, 16-year-old Hannah Huntoon is celebrating the ability to walk and talk.

"When I woke up, I don't remember waking up, but I remember being awake and it was scary.  I didn't understand what happened, what was going on.  It's a lot to deal with, to wake up to," she explained.

Her parents, Constance and David, call her progress a miracle.

Hannah has been in therapy at St. Mary's Medical Center for weeks after spending six days in a medically-induced coma.  The Palm Beach Gardens High School dancer fell from the top of a moving vehicle while "car surfing."  She suffered a catastrophic brain injury and does not remember what happened.

Hannah says she remembered her close friends not long after her accident.

"The girl who I did it with, she came and she told me, and we cried, it was upsetting.  Cause I was disappointed in myself and her for doing it," she said.

Dr. Craig Lichtblau says Hannah's quick progress is a miracle.  He believes that in a year, Hannah will have made even more dramatic progress in her recovery.

"I believe that this patient is going to do outstanding. 100 percent, 99 percent, 98 percent, you have to realize where she came from. She had one foot in the threshold of death's door," he said.

Hannah will wear a helmet for two to three months. The sides of her skull were removed by doctors to allow her brain's swelling to go down. In surgery, the skull will be replaced and Hannah's hair will grow back, doctors say.

The teen does not like the helmet and misses her hair. 

"I still look like a dinosaur, a little boy. It's bad," she joked.

The family says faith, prayers and friends have carried the family through the tough time. In the future, the family plans to get involved with educating teens of the dangers of car surfing.

"It's a lot to handle and deal with. But it's nice to know that I'm alive," Hannah said.

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