A young woman has shared how she has survived an unimaginable crash that tore her body apart.
Layla Jane Rogan was just 15 years old when she lost control of her ATV and accidentally struck a parked car – while going 50 miles per hour.
The impact was devastating – leaving the teenager unconscious at the scene.
A passerby stopped to help and kept Layla breathing until paramedics arrived, with the girl then airlifted to St Marys hospital in Florida.
Since then, she’s had countless surgeries including treatment for a traumatic brain injury – which her mum, Alison Rogan, says has changed her daughter’s personality.
“I don’t remember anything about the accident itself,” Layla, now 17 and studying in West Palm Beach, Florida, told NeedToKnow.co.uk
“Honestly, I don’t remember the majority of my time in the hospital either.
“And from what I have seen and heard, it’s a good thing I don’t.
“It’s hard to believe that was really me.
“I was lucky to have my parents at my side for the whole process.”
Mum Alison, who was at home at the time, was horrified when she received the call every parent dreads.
She rushed to the hospital, where she was told by doctors that her daughter was unlikely to survive.
The 45-year-old said: “Me and my husband got there to [see] our daughter on life support.
“After arriving, we were told she likely wouldn’t survive 72 hours.
“They installed a monitor in her head to watch cranial pressure and brain swelling.”
Layla’s injuries included over 10 brain bleeds, damage to her brain stem, brain shearing, a dissected carotid artery, liver lacerations, internal bleeding and a broken jaw.
Despite the odds, the teenager survived but she was still unconscious, with a long, perilous road to recovery.
In the weeks following the crash on 22 May 2022, she suffered neurostorming – a hyperactive response of the sympathetic nervous system, meaning her body couldn’t regulate its own temperature, heart rate or blood pressure.
Doctors also performed a tracheotomy and were forced to wire her jaw shut, because she wasn’t breathing on her own and its a safer alternative than being intubated when your situation looks permanent.
Alison said: “Even though she was still labelled unconscious, a couple days after the accident, she started moving her left side fingers and toes when asked.
“Not consistently but occasionally.”
Finally, around three weeks later – on 16 June 2022 – Layla woke up from her coma.
Alison added: “It’s not really like you picture it.
“Layla waking up only meant she could perform some tasks on command and tolerate longer therapies, but she still seemed lost inside.
“She was unable to speak or walk at this point or move the right side of her body.
“Her eyes started tracking us around; she would follow me, my husband, and our younger daughter around the room.
“It’s strange missing a person who’s alive.
“Before the accident, Layla was a high-level athlete and extremely intelligent kid, and now she was miles from the girl we remembered.
“There was a day where she didn’t even know who her dad was.
“She was literally a different person in my daughter’s body.
“It was overwhelming and scary, and a lot of tears were shed.”
Layla soon regained movement in her legs and was able to walk with a gait belt and assistance.
On 28 June, her jaw was unwired and she spoke for the first time and 11 days later, she was discharged.
She was out of the woods but the struggle was far from over, with her receiving support from her mum, dad, Jeremiah Rogan, sister Cali, and brother Jeremiah the second.
Her mum said: “She didn’t require a wheelchair as doctors had anticipated, which was great.
“Mentally, she was slower and her memory was still pretty impaired.
“She also tired easily.
“But Layla returned to school a few months later and even did cheerleading, though with a lot restrictions.”
Alison believes that the experience has made the family appreciate things a lot more.
She said: “We all knew we had witnessed a miracle and it was amazing to be a part of that.
“We still have various therapies and restrictions we have to manage, but it’s not as difficult as it was.
“For the most part, my daughter leads a normal life today.
“Layla is different than before but we have all grown to love our new world.”
Layla still gets frustrated with some of the challenges she has today but always powers through and is hopeful for the future.
She added: “I never liked people telling me I can’t do something.
“I have to work harder now, but I like a challenge.
“I am grateful for being alive but sometimes I miss the way living was for me before.
“I do have a new perspective on life though and I’ve been told I’m a lot nicer!”