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Mother who spent 6 days trapped in crashed car drives again

Mother Who Spent 6 Days Trapped in Crashed Car Drives Again

DENVER - A Highlands Ranch mother of four is making remarkable progress after nearly dying in a car accident in April and having her feet amputated.

For many of us, success at the gym is weighed in pounds and repetitions. "I'm up for a challenge," says Kristin Hopkins, while working out at Prestige Fitness at 5150 E. Arapahoe Rd.

For the 43-year-old, the challenge is made greater with prosthetic feet. "It's been June 20th to today, over one month of getting your balance alright. That's been the hardest thing," she says about her exercise routine.

It's the hardest thing since surviving six days in a mangled car after a rollover down a mountain ravine. She was eventually spotted by passersby, but not in time to save her feet.

"It's life. It's reality. I could sit in a room and cry or do something to better yourself," she says. That something is getting back in shape after lying in a hospital and rehab bed for two months. "My legs and muscles have atrophied and everything," she says. Her prosthetics can't flex, so her personal trainer adjusts her workout.

"We have to find other way to get her heart rate up: seated ropes, hand bikes, using light weights, like interval training," says Jinho Tohara. He says Kristin is inspiring because she works very hard. He says fully able-bodied people come in to the gym and are not as motivated.

"She does not want me to touch or help her. I understand that because at some point in time, she has do it on her own," says Tohara.

"In the hospital, I was the same way, don't touch my wheelchair, I can do this. I have to do it in life. I have to learn to do it. Let me figure it out by myself," she says. It's a can-do attitude that's moved her from a walker, to crutches, to a cane, to walking all on her own.

Kristin is overcoming new challenges every day. The latest is driving. She got a new car last week. It's the first time she's been behind the wheel since her accident.

"No hand controls. It's all me driving. The gas pedal, instead of a few inches of your toe on there, my whole foot has to go on it. I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's not as difficult as one think it would be," she says.

And now she'll drive toward her next goal.

"I'll say by Christmas hopefully I can do a pull-up. Because that's been a goal of mine. It may be a cheesy goal, but you know," she chuckles. Nothing has stopped her yet.

Kristin says she can't remember why she crashed, or what she was doing in the mountains.

Expect a book on her recovery out in the fall.

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msmith6791 August 07 2014 at 9:29 AM

What happened to her feet over those 6 days? What I can't grasp is why no one when looking for her?

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5 replies
goodgrief61945 August 07 2014 at 10:39 AM

Have to wonder how safe it is for her to drive, with no feeling in her feet when she has to break.

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2 replies
rwilliamhoward goodgrief61945 August 07 2014 at 12:48 PM

The adaptability of the human body is remarkable. She'll do just fine. She has overcome STANDING and WALKING. Braking a car is NOT that special. Standing is the most remarkable of all. Stand up, and pay attention to your TOES. Just STAND THERE. The servo system that allows you to stand is very complex, and she doesn't have it any more.

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cmvintage1 goodgrief61945 August 07 2014 at 12:51 PM

She will be just fine, I had to have my right leg amputated about three years ago and I been able to drive with no problems.

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Randy August 07 2014 at 11:03 AM

I hope she get back on her feet ,no pun intended

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1 reply
welcome butch Randy August 07 2014 at 5:51 PM


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janmanuel2 August 07 2014 at 11:27 AM

God bless her! I wish her well. She's got spirit and determination.

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Brian Workman August 07 2014 at 4:03 PM

Another auto accident waiting to happen! I couldn't tell the Gas Peddle form the Brake Peddle!?!? CRASH!! She shouldn't be issued a drivers license!! Great recovery with a positive attitude!

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AMERICASMUSEUM August 07 2014 at 6:21 PM

Let's sue GM.

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icikebbocsike August 07 2014 at 8:29 PM

spirit and determination the usual bull in these stories... the bottom line is they don't want crippled ones who can't do these marvelous circus act worthy stunts...

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exitscreaming August 07 2014 at 11:06 PM

Got to love some of the mental giants here asking..." why wasn't anyone looking for her ? "

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