Teen continues to recover after Lake County mudding accident

Kayla Johnson in medically induced coma for 2 months

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – The road to recovery continues 14-year-old Kayla Johnson, after a mudding accident put her in a medically induced coma back in October.  

"I guess you could say the unthinkable happened," her father, Clifford Johnson, said. "A hitch pulled apart and went through the back of my truck and struck Kayla in the head." 

The accident fractured Johnson's skull and required emergency brain surgery, and put her in a medically induced coma for two months.

Still in recovery, Johnson travels to Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children Pediatric Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Orlando often, as she rebuilds her strength. 

"I could've died and I'm still alive," Kayla Johnson said. 

The 14-year-old still needs help from her parents to get around, but intends to become an independent teenager as soon as possible.

"Every day is another discovery of something else she can do," Clifford Johnson said.

Kayla still plans to go out mudding, her truck even has "Kayla Strong" anchors on its tires, but she and her family are encouraging others to install headache racks to make trucks safer.

"It's just one more safety precaution. We've all gotten lucky for years," Clifford Johnson said. "Putting something over the back window, it's great."

The accident has given Kayla a new outlook on life and even new career goals. 

"I want to be a physical therapist so I can tell them what I've been through and encourage them," she said.

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