A BYU freshman who was struck by a car on Feb. 26 while riding her longboard has received support from thousands during recovery.
Doctors gave Lexi Hansen a 1 percent chance of survival the night of the accident. A doctor told her mother, “This chair has more brain waves than your daughter does.”
Despite the lack of initial hope, Hansen is progressing daily. Her family, and doctors consider Hansen’s story a miracle.
After two weeks of treatment in the Intensive Care Unit in both the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and the Murray Intermountain Medical Center, Hansen has improved from the prognosis of “She’s not going to make it” to sitting up on her own, talking and walking around the ICU with support.
Hansen, 18, is majoring in communications at BYU. The eighth of nine children, she grew up in South Jordan. Her career goal is to be a motivational speaker.
Her sister, Kelsi Hansen, said Hansen was “the perfect child” growing up. Kelsi Hansen described her as someone who never backed down from a challenge.
Her sisters agreed that Hansen was very athletic and always competitive.
“Diving for the ball was her favorite part of tennis,” Kelsi Hansen said.
One of Hansen’s biggest hobbies is long-boarding. The day before her accident she posted a video of herself long-boarding down Provo Canyon with friends.
One of her friends, Taylor Young, worked with Hansen at the Brick Oven. Young described Hansen as a hard worker who always wanted to do her part.
“Everybody loved her,” Young said.
Young said Lexi Hansen loved talking and getting to know people on a personal basis. “It’s really rare, especially for a girl who’s as beautiful as she is,” Young said.
An ambulance rushed Hansen to the hospital after paramedics resuscitated her on the scene. She received a priesthood blessing before being taken to the hospital, which the family partly attributed to her recovery.
Hansen suffered severe trauma to the brain, and doctors put her in a medically induced coma. For the first few days, it was a waiting game to see if she would live, as her eight siblings gathered from across the country to support her
Shelby Hansen, another sister, who had traveled from Boston, said she took the first flight to Salt Lake City and arrived in time to witness her father give Hansen a blessing.
“After that … blessing we all had the faith and knew that she was going to make it,” she said.
The day after Hansen’s accident her roommate created a Facebook page, Pray for Lexi, which has received nearly 22,000 likes since it was created. The Hansen family has used the page to post updates about her condition and spiritual messages. Supporters have adopted the page as a spiritual rallying spot where they have posted uplifting comments, blog posts and tributes.
Kelsi Hansen said hundreds of people fasted for Lexi Hansen on Sunday, March 2. The Facebook page suggests that thousands more have offered prayers in the student’s behalf.
The family posted the following on the Pray for Lexi page on March 12:
“Thanks to all of you who continue to pray and who have reached out to us. … We may not know all of you, but we truly do love every one of you.”
The Hansen family has described her progress as an “emotional roller coaster.” When doctors first removed Hansen’s breathing tube, she struggled to begin breathing on her own. “We almost lost her that day,” Shelby Hansen said.
Days later, Hansen had progressed enough to transfer to the rehabilitation center. Medical officials found she had unusual pain in her leg. An X-ray revealed a fractured tibia. Doctors placed a metal rod in her leg. However, the stress of the surgery impeded Hansen’s breathing, and she was transferred once again to ICU.
In spite of periodic setbacks, she has progressed more than her doctors expected.
Shelby Hansen has no doubt that Lexi Hansen will still realize her dreams. “She’s going to be a motivational speaker,” she said enthusiastically.
The family recently posted this uplifting message to the page to describe their gratitude of this miracle.
“The Lord has not only answered our prayers, but he is helping her to quickly progress. How extremely grateful we are for the miracles that continue to be exhibited in her life.”