SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - 12 months down and a lifetime to go. That's how best to describe Stuti Jawahar, the Byrd High School graduate, who nearly lost her life a year ago on January 15th.
"When I was in the hospital bed, my parents would have never believed I would be here, walking, talking, in college. So it makes me feel really good about myself", says Stuti.
It's the first time Stuti has sat down to talk about what she remembers, her rehabilitation and her future. "I think to myself, at least I'm alive."
That morning, Stuti was driving to school when her SUV hit an icy patch on the 3132 Inner Loop. There was no guard rail or median barrier. Her SUV spun across the grassy median and stuck a pole.
She says she doesn't remember a thing about the wreck. "To not remember the wreck happening, I'm not really disappointed with it. I'm happy I can't remember."
Her father feels that day will come though. "Believe it or not, memories of the accident are going to come back to her."
Ajay Jawahar is a doctor, specializing in neurology. He feels the brain's defense mechanism has likely shut it out, for now. "I really like to remember," continued Stuti. "I don't want to remember the bad stuff. I like to remember the stuff from before because it makes me feel great."
Stuti just completed her first semester at Centenary and finished with a 3.5 GPA. She's also walking up to a half mile on some days. Despite many doctors fearing Stuti would either be restricted to a wheelchair or never talk again, she's clearly defied the odds.
Instead of being sent to specialized hospitals in Houston or Dallas, Stuti's family decided her rehab should take place close to home so she could be around familiar surroundings and closer to friends.
"Even though I was in a coma, they (her friends) still visited me. So that's like saying a big thing about our friendship. That's really sweet," brags Stuti.
Her father feels the decision paid off. "When I look at her every day, the only two feelings that come to me is extreme pride and extreme thankfulness to realize how blessed we are."
Stuti admits the only details she has about her accident and the weeks and months afterwards, have been from what her friends told her and from watching recordings of our news reports. "It makes you sad, sad I was in that position. Then you get over it and look past it. Just think about how far you've come."