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After tragic accident, woman credits community for helping her recovery

After tragic accident, woman credits community for helping her recovery
Posted at 11:35 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 23:35:25-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- It's been five years since Katy Daniel was almost killed in a farming accident. Thanks to the support from her community and family, she's now standing tall and doing what she loves.

"You don't realize how fast something can change your whole life," Daniel said. "I couldn't look in the mirror at myself."

The past 60 months have healed Katy physically and mentally.

"It's been five years since everything happened. I'm fully healed, top of my head, fully healed," Daniel said. "So I'm at a point in my life, I think, I'm finally figuring myself out, mentally and physically."

In May of 2016, Katy was working to fence in a pasture for her horse. A farming accident left the 20-year-old scalped.

"It seems like at certain moments, like it was yesterday," Pete Daniel, Katy's father, said.

"Each May gets a little better. I mean, it's still there mentally but it's getting better," Kyle Daniel, Katy's older brother, said.

The accident kept Katy in the hospital for 57 days and over the years, she had about a dozen surgeries.

Five years later, her 3-year-old son Cash gets a lot of credit.

"I guess Cash he saved me, for sure," Katy said.

Katy's young son just knows her as his mom. However, at times he does have some questions.

"He noticed everyone else has hair but mama doesn't so he'll ask me. I don't really know what to do, you know. I don't want to tell him everything, but I gotta explain to him, mama got hair," Katy said.

During the early dark days following the accident, Katy learned the importance of family.

"Yeah, I don't know what I would do without my family," Katy said. "Meant so much, I think that's what helped me stay so positive, I was definitely not alone."

Neighbors held a barn raising, collected donations to offset her medical expenses and showed the community a hashtag you'll still see to this day.

It's that support that helped keep her going on her journey to recovery.

"I would say thank you so much and words can't explain how thankful I am for everything. It means more than you will ever know," Katy said.

"At a time you are at your lowest and you remember how good people are truly," Katy's father said. "Then you look at her, look at the kids and all, it's been very fortunate, very blessed. I don't know any other way to put it."

For Katy, life continues to get better day by day.

"It's been life-changing but in a good way, you know. Something so bad has turned out good, I look at life completely different," Katy said.