Audra Tatum is a creature of habit. The mother of three from Walker County, Georgia spent most of her family’s car rides in the passenger seat, legs crossed, with one foot on the dashboard.
“All my life I had my legs crossed and my foot on the dash,” Tatum told CBS News. “My husband always told me, ‘You’re going to get in a wreck someday, and you’re going to break your legs.’”
She always assured him that she would be fast enough to pull her leg down in time. Sadly, her husband was right, in the worst possible way.
While traveling to her parents’ home just 4 miles away, Tatum and her husband T-boned a car that pulled out in front of them. Thankfully everyone was able to walk away with just a few minor injuries. Everyone, except for Tatum.
“The airbag went off, throwing my foot up and breaking my nose,” she recalled. “I was looking at the bottom of my foot facing up at me.”
The impact devestated the right side of her body breaking her arm, ankle, and femur. “Basically my whole right side was broken, and it’s simply because of my ignorance,” she explained. “I’m not Superman. I couldn’t put my foot down in time.”
The accident happened in August, 2015. Two years later, Tatum has still not fully recovered from her injuries.
“I can’t do my career as an EMS. I can’t lift patients anymore,” she told CBS. “I can’t stand more than 4 hours at a time. Once I’m at that 4-hour mark I’m in tears. I keep telling everybody, you don’t want this life.”
Now Tatum is sharing her story hoping to prevent others from suffering her fate. “You don’t want the pain and agony every day,” she says.
The Chattanooga Fire Department has helped raise awareness by sharing Tatum’s story on Facebook. “Airbags deploy between 100 and 220 MPH. If you ride with your feet on the dash and you’re involved in an accident, the airbag may send your knees through your eye sockets,” they wrote.
Share this story with the people you love to prevent them from suffering the same fate. Please leave a comment on Facebook and let us know what you thought about this story.
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