CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A young woman has defied the odds in her recovery: Gabbriella Manges was able to walk into Orange Park Medical Center and thank the rescue team who saved her about five months after a near-deadly accident.
Last June, Manges said she was on her way to work around 8:30 a.m.
She was driving on US-17 trying to merge on the Buckman Bridge when she hydroplaned. A garbage truck driving about 70 mph slammed into her car on the driver's side.
"We checked her level of responsiveness, she wasn't talking to us. So we said, ‘Oh we have to get her out, we got to go,'" Lt. Matthew Anderson said.
"It did not look good, and they told us less than 10% chance to make it through the night," Manges' mother said. "We prayed over her, they stayed on top of her. The doctors here, the nurses, the staff have just been amazing."
Manges said she woke up at Orange Park Medical Center, unable to remember what happened to her. She had broken bones, fractures, and nerve damage.
"My jaw was broken in three places. I had an orbital fracture, but they didn't fix that until I got to Atlanta because there was so much blood in my mouth, so I couldn't really breathe."
Throughout her recovery, the first responders came to visit her in the hospital. After being treated in Atlanta, Manges is now back home in Clay County continuing physical therapy.
Doctors said she may not be able to walk for another year, but she proved them wrong.
Friday, she walked into Orange Park Medical Center on her own to reunite with the first responders and caregivers who saved her life.
"From what we saw with her before, someone that's unconscious. Unfortunately we didn't know if she was going to live or pass, to know walking in here like that is, it's amazing," Anderson said.
"She's 100% a different person that what we saw at that wreck, which is amazing," Enginner William Gaskins said.
Manges said she is now able to walk on her own, cook for herself, and hopes to get back behind the wheel in December.
"Thank you, thank you guys so much," Manges said. "You guys were the first step in my recovery process."
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