PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) It's been a little more than a year since a hit-and-run driver left a Temple senior fighting for her life. Rachel Hall was riding her bike near Temple's campus on Diamond Street when a car hit her. The impact damaged her brain. She spent months in rehab. But we have a happy ending to this story. Rachel is making big strides including one across the stage at Temple's graduation.
FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson spoke with Rachel before her big day.
"It's for real now," said 23-year-old Rachel Hall. She’s getting ready for the day she thought would never come. Thursday she will walk the stage during Temple’s graduation to receive the diploma she was supposed to get a year ago.
"I'm so excited for tomorrow," said her mother, Kathy. "I never thought I would see her walk in graduation. I just never expected tomorrow to come," she said.
It’s been a life altering journey. The honors student and lacrosse athlete who had been accepted into the Police Academy in Washington D.C. was hit by a car in April of last year just a few weeks before graduation. The accident left her in a coma unable to walk or talk.
"There's been hard days but overall it hasn't too bad. I always just think about the next day. If it's a bad day, tomorrow will be better," said Rachel who spent the past year in therapy determined to walk again. She’s still working on her balance and speech.
"I had to relearn how to learn how to walk, talk, eat and everything. Even the most basic things I had to relearn," she said. All of that, with an amazingly optimistic attitude.
"Being negative won't help me at all. Why beat up on myself over nothing. So I just always be positive," said Rachel.
Kathy says her daughter’s determination to get her life back is the reason she’s making a comeback from the brain injury and torn artery that required a stent be placed in her neck. It could have taken her life.
"She's a miracle to me. She’s absolutely a miracle. I would have never expected her to be this far in the past year," said Kathy.
Rachel says putting the teen who hit her and kept going out of her mind had been crucial to her recovery.
"Just keep looking forward. No reason to be in the past anymore," said Rachel.
If you would like to send a card to Rachel you can do so at the following address:
P.O. Box 307
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062