Amtrak derailment survivor: ‘All of a sudden I heard a loud smack … I went flying forward’

TACOMA, Wash. (KCPQ) — To think of what happened, and what could have been — Shaheim Lewis still has trouble shaking the memories.

"Out of nowhere, all of a sudden I heard a loud smack and at the same time I went flying forward," he said.

He and his brother were in one of the front cars of Amtrak 501 on Monday. They were headed to Portland after spending time with their stepmom.

"He was about to start school and I was about to get a job. We were about to get an apartment. Just start building things back up," Lewis said.

Now, instead, Lewis grapples with a lingering concussion, two bulging discs, and the nerve pain that comes along with it all.

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And yet there's something more in the hospital bed.

"Here she comes. Hey baby," he said as Daisy emerged from under the covers.

Lewis' five-year-old dachshund-terrier mix was right there with him, held in his arms at the moment of the crash.

"All you hear is nothing but bomb noises. Everybody's screaming and everything's going in chaos," he said.

Daisy wasn't injured at all. Lewis took the brunt of the impact. He says Daisy was the runt of the litter when he got her.

Some fleas here and there.

But a fighter and a survivor.

Like him.

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Amtrak train derails in Washington state
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Amtrak train derails in Washington state
DUPONT, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 18: Emegency crews work at the scene of a Amtrak train derailment on December 18, 2017 in DuPont, Washington. At least six people were killed when a passenger train car plunged from the bridge. The derailment also closed southbound I-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
An Amtrak passenger train is seen derailed on a bridge over interstate highway (I-5) in this Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy WSDOT/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
The scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, U.S. December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
The scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, U.S. December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Washington State Trooper Brooke Bova briefs the media at the scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, U.S. December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
The scene where an Amtrak passenger train derailed on a bridge over interstate highway I-5 in DuPont, Washington, U.S. December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Parts of an Amtrak passenger train at the scene of derailment on interstate highway (I-5) is seen in this Pierce County Sheriff's Department image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Pierce County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Parts of an Amtrak passenger train at the scene of derailment on interstate highway (I-5) is seen in this Pierce County Sheriff's Department image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Pierce County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
An Amtrak passenger train derailment over interstate highway (I-5) is seen in this Washington State Patrol image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Brooke Bova/Washington State Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
First responders are seen at the scene of an Amtrak passenger train derailment on interstate highway (I-5) in this Washington State Patrol image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Brooke Bova/Washington State Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
An Amtrak passenger train derailment over interstate highway (I-5) is seen in this Washington State Patrol image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Brooke Bova/Washington State Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Parts of an Amtrak passenger train at the scene of derailment on interstate highway (I-5) is seen in this Pierce County Sheriff's Department image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Pierce County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Parts of an Amtrak passenger train at the scene of derailment on interstate highway (I-5) is seen in this Pierce County Sheriff's Department image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Pierce County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
An Amtrak passenger train is seen derailed on a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in this Pierce County Sheriff's Department image moved on social media in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. Courtesy Pierce County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
First responders are seen at the scene of an Amtrak passenger train which derailed and is hanging from a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Adams
First responders are seen at the scene of an Amtrak passenger train which derailed and is hanging from a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Tom James
First responders and investigators are seen near the scene of an Amtrak passenger train which derailed on a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Adams
First responders are at the scene of an Amtrak passenger train which derailed and is hanging from a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Adams
DUPONT, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 18: Law enforcement work at the scene of a Amtrak train derailment on December 18, 2017 in DuPont, Washington. At least six people were killed when a passenger train car plunged from the bridge. The derailment also closed southbound I-5. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Photos from scene of amtrak passenger train derailment https://t.co/gd09MzLCC6
NEW: NBC's @anblanx reports that there are multiple deaths and injuries following an Amtrak train derailment in Tac… https://t.co/wrgXvFiiOM
WSP diverting traffic at DuPont. WSP aiding withbroad closure & getting assistance to scene. https://t.co/fRw4uGNIVv
NEW: @CBSNews is hearing official word that there are casualties with potential fatalities in the @Amtrak train der… https://t.co/7s4RHGYyiN
Amtrak derailment in Washington State being treated as a mass-casualty scene. https://t.co/VabCii9zhn
Developing: Amtrak train derails near Seattle onto the I-5 freeway https://t.co/XfF79Hxdfj https://t.co/DCjgYtjPBp
First responders and investigators are seen near the scene of an Amtrak passenger train which derailed on a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Adams
First responders are seen at the scene of an Amtrak passenger train which derailed and is hanging from a bridge over the interstate highway (I-5) in DuPont, Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Tom James
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Now it's recovery, and focusing on regaining the strength to walk.

"Just getting out of that wheelchair into the seat for the shower was one of the most excruciatingly painful things I had to do. It was just so degrading having somebody else wash your body because you can't do it yourself. That's just terrible." Lewis said.

And he thinks of the road ahead and needing to be close to Daisy, holding her tight as ever.

"Love you," Lewis said as he shared a sweet kiss.

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