CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In Kathy Runion's favorite Hank Williams Jr. song, the country star sings, "I got to get ready, make everything right," -- fitting lyrics for the 54-year-old who considers her life "a miracle."
On Aug. 26, 2011, Runion struck a tree head-on while driving on Joes Creek Road in Boone County. Runion demolished her Dodge Durango SUV and was airlifted to CAMC General Hospital in Charleston with serious injuries.
She suffered from a collapsed lung, numerous broken ribs, crushed arteries in her neck and her left hip had "turned to dust," she said. A broken bone in her neck landed her in a neck brace while the rest of her body was covered in bandages. A traction bar was also placed in her left leg.
Although Runion said she doesn't know what caused her to crash into the tree, doctors said she suffered multiple strokes, which may be one factor in the accident.
For more than a month, Runion remained in a coma at CAMC. Doctors had labeled her a vegetable, said her daughter Barbie Cremeans.
Cremeans -- who visits her mother daily -- said she would talk to her mother while she was in the coma and "begged her to wake up."
"We met with the trauma team and they told us to say goodbye to her," Cremeans, 32, said. "It's a miracle. Sometimes I don't think she's realized how far she's come."
Runion left CAMC Hospital in October and has been living at the Marmet Center Nursing Home. She can't walk or move the left side of her body very much but she is no longer eating through feeding tubes or breathing through a tracheotomy tube.