Nearly a year after she accidentally walked into a spinning plane propeller and lost her left eye and hand, Texas fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs talked with Natalie Morales about the first time she looked in the mirror following the ordeal.
“I think I just saw the reality of what had happened,’’ Scruggs said. “I had my eye patch on, I didn’t have my hand, half my head was shaved. I was just thinking, ‘Wow.’ Again, how life can change in an instant and how that’s not the way I have looked in the past.’’
Morales’s full interview with Scruggs in her Dallas home will air on Dateline NBC Friday at 10 p.m. as she discusses the night of her accident, her recovery and her book, "Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family's Journey of Hope." Scruggs and her parents will appear live on TODAY Friday morning for an exclusive interview.
On Dec. 3, 2011, Scruggs touched down after a trip to see Christmas lights in the Dallas area with a pilot friend. After disembarking from the plane, she accidentally walked into a spinning propeller under the cover of darkness.
"I don't remember,'' Scruggs said about the accident. "I literally just remember climbing out of the plane and touching the ground. And that was it."
Scruggs, 24, underwent a painful recovery, and received a prosthetic eye and hand.
"Sometimes I think I would just wake up and think, 'Did this really happen?''' she said. "I would think I had dreamt about losing my hand or something, and I'd wake up and it wasn't there. The doctors even told me that losing a hand is like losing a family member or a sister, because it's part of you, and (I) still have those moments today."
Despite maintaining a positive outlook in the wake of the accident, Scruggs still has her tough days.
"For sure, just because it's a part of my everyday life and a lot of days are wonderful, and a lot of days...kind of things will hit me,'' she said.
Scruggs, who is from a deeply religious family, does not wonder what life would be like if the accident never happened.
"No, I don't really let myself go to the 'what if' questions, or, 'why did this happen to me,''' she said. "I don't believe in that. I just have learned through reading the Bible and also just growing up as a Christian, I've realized that God will only put things in your life that he knows you can handle. So my life has just deepened, and I don't think I would trade that.''