Texas woman called a "miracle" after surviving two serious crash - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Texas woman called a "miracle" after surviving two serious crashes

Source: KSWO Source: KSWO
Source: KSWO Source: KSWO

WINDTHORST, TX (KSWO)- A young woman from Windthorst, Texas is being called a miracle, twice over, after surviving not one but two devastating crashes.  The first in 2002, resulting in a severe brain injury that had doctors saying, if she survived, she would never walk or talk again.  Behind her astonishing recovery, her faith and prayer, along with what many would consider a near-death experience. Tragedy would strike again in 2006 with another crash, sending her back to the hospital and through months of long and painful rehabilitation.  Today, she says she is able to fulfill a purpose she now has because God has given her life back to her.

It was the night of the big homecoming game in September, 2002.  Candice Jackson was just 12 at the time and couldn't wait to attend the game that night with her cousin. 

"She called me after school to see if her cousin Sam could come home to play pool at the house until the big game.  I told her that'd be fine and she said okay I love you," recalls her mother Amy Jackson.

Candice's mother was working at the local post office that afternoon, less than a mile down the road from their home on Highway 281, when she got a frantic call from her son Justin.

"He said screaming into the phone Candice is dead.  It was heart wrenching," says Amy.

A pickup truck ran into the back of Candice's school bus, which was stopped at the end of her driveway. The pickup driver spun out, hitting Candice as she was getting off the bus, sending her body 50 feet back onto the highway.

 Her mother says, "When I finally got to her, her body was mangled, her legs were in back of her; her body twisted and her book bag still on her.  I went up to her and laid there beside her and told her 'Candice, Mommy's here and if you can hear me I need you to give me sign.’"

 Candice was rushed to the hospital and later care-flighted to Dallas where doctors gave Amy and her husband, Lanny a grim prognosis, saying their daughter suffered a severe brain injury and would need to be placed in an induced coma.

"Wait and see was the famous line, maybe to expect little bits and pieces, or nothing at all," says Candice's father Lanny.

Her mom adds, "We came together with friends, family, and the community and prayed and prayed and never stopped praying."

Candice remembers nothing from the moment of the crash to the time she awoke from the coma, except experiencing what she calls an overwhelming sense of peace.  She describes seeing a place filled with light, what she believes was heaven and later illustrating what she saw through a drawing.

She says, "I see it's Jesus sitting on a simple wooden bench and his head is also bowed holding a golden staff.  He slowly raises his head and he says 'Hello Candice,' I don't say anything to him, he says, 'You can go back to your family now.'  The next thing I know I'm waking up in the hospital and it's 28 days later."

That experience provided continued reassurance and the strength she'd need to get through what would be months in the hospital relearning how to eat, speak, and walk all over again, plus continued rehabilitation. 

Candice eventually made a full recovery, returning to school and sports and like most teens wanting to drive.

Amy says, "She came to me and said 'Mom can I drive and I said, No,' but I decided that God brought her this far and it wasn't up to me to hold her back if God was going to give her life back I didn't want to old her back."

Candice passed the driving test and her parents bought her a car.

But then, just 4 years after the first accident, another devastating call…
 
Lanny says, “All these feelings take over that something is not right immediately jumped in vehicles, you're praying it's not her, not her, but we get there and realize it is. The overwhelming feeling of the previous experience takes over,"  

16-year-old Candice was driving to meet family and friends at a barbecue, when an animal ran out in front of her car.  She tried to avoid it, rolling her vehicle. She again suffered another brain injury that was less severe, but caused injuries to her left hand and broken bones.  She was again placed in an induced coma, this time for 8 days followed by months of rehab.

She again recovered and while she has some aches and pains and is left with a limp and scars.  She says they are the very things that make her stronger.

"It's a brutal reminder,” says Candice, “yet knowing that I carry that with me, it's a reminder of my faith and loyalty to Jesus, my consistent prayer and how they've helped."
 

"You look at life differently you look at small things you cherish every moment you realize you may not have tomorrow," says her mom. "She's definitely a miracle, every doctor said she would have never come this far, never recover this way out of everything they've seen we just know that God had her, God was there with her the whole time."

Candice has since graduated from high school, college, and is now working as a certified occupational therapy assistant, helping those going through what she did, twice, every day.  It's her way of saying thank you.

She says, “It's the love and the care that keeps on giving.  The fact someone did that for me I appreciate that so much to this day I see that I am doing that and it's very fulfilling.”

Candice has also just purchased her own home.
The woman who crashed her truck into the back of the bus and hit Candice was under the influence of drugs. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison and served 3 years. Candice says while she still has difficult days, through her relationship with God, she has found forgiveness.

If you have experienced a miracle you'd like to share, you can send it to us by emailing miracles@kswo.com.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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