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Senior gets standing ovation as she graduates 7 months after horrific crash


Seven months ago, the chances of Jessica Erickson attending her graduation were slim.

In November, the 18-year-old was fighting for her life after suffering horrific head injuries in an icy crash on her way to Forest Lake High School that saw her pickup t-boned and torn in half.

But on Friday, the senior showed the results of her recovery as she took to the stage at her school's graduation ceremony, with KARE 11 reporting she was given a standing ovation by her fellow classmates.

"I always wanted to graduate," she told the station. "And now I am really excited to go off to college because I really want to become a social worker and help other people handle things going on in their life and make it easier for them."

The progress she has made since her accident has been nothing short of remarkable, with her family telling the Forest Lake Times that doctors initially didn't think she was going to survive he injuries.

She was taken to the hospital with her head and neck severely damaged, needing rods inserted into her neck for her broken vertebrae and undergoing brain surgery to stop internal hemorrhaging that left her in a coma for weeks, the newspaper notes.

FOX 9 notes that she had to undergo hours of speech therapy as well as speech and memory exercises as she slowly regained her faculties, and still requires care with her mother having not returned to work since the accident.

She was helped in her recovery by her classmates and the wider Forest Lake community, with the school's girl's basketball team dedicating the season to the stricken teammate, wearing her number 30 on their socks, while hundreds of people raised money through sites such as GoFundMe to help pay her medical bills.

She won't be attending college this fall, with FOX 9 noting her continued rehab is delaying her further education plans, but is hopeful of pursuing her goal to become a social worker in the future.

Given how far she's come already, you wouldn't bet against her.

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