When Tiffany Day walks through Carson High School, she can see the faces of her classmates light up. “They say things like, ‘I’m so glad you’re back,” Tiffany related. “I think they’ve kind of been watching for me in the hallways.”And they’re still watching for her as she carefully makes her way through the often-crowded corridors.“They disperse and let me walk through,” she said. “They want to make sure no one bumps me or knocks me to the ground.”Tiffany, 17, hadn’t been to her classes since a car crash, where she was ejected from the driver’s side window and her car rolled over her, on the first day of school last August.According to police reports, Tiffany drove north through a red light on Carson Street at the intersection with Koontz Lane and was grazed by an oncoming driver.Suffering from a head injury, broken pelvis, broken collar bone and trauma to her lungs, she was kept sedated by doctors for 11 weeks to allow her injuries to heal. When she was finally strong enough to come out of sedation, she could not lift her arms or legs. Because of the tubes and the tracheotomy in her throat to help her breathe, she lost her voice.To recover, she went to a rehabilitation center in Colorado until Dec. 21 when she was finally able to return to her Carson City home. While it had been nearly five months since the Aug. 27 crash, Tiffany wasn’t conscious for a bulk of that time. “It probably seemed like five months to my parents,” she said. “I was heavily sedated so I don’t remember the accident or half of what happened in the hospital.”When she regained consciousness, she didn’t know why she was in the hospital. Her mother, Stephanie, directed her to an article in the Nevada Appeal. “I had to read the paper in order to figure it out,” Tiffany said. She was shocked to read that investigators determined she had not been wearing her seat belt. “It’s not something I’d do,” she said. “I’m OCD about my seat belt. I think I didn’t click it all the way in.” Last week, she returned to Carson High School — her goal throughout her therapy. “I was excited,” she said. “I missed school. It’s one thing I’m really good at.”She’s also back to volunteering at Robin’s Nest Day Care.While some things have changed — her damaged vocal chords have left her with a rasp in contrast to the boisterous voice she was known for — she’s determined to make a full recovery. She continues to increase her physical strength, studying her nieces and nephews and memorizing their movements to learn how to stand from a sitting position on the floor.She’s behind on some credits because of the classes she missed, but she said she will make them up by her senior year.“I’m graduating with my class,” she said. “And I’m getting the Millennium Scholarship.”
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