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Overcoming Tragedy: How a Scooter Accident Changed a UF Student’s Life (For the Better)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

If you’ve ever been to advising at Heavener School of Business, you may have seen junior business student Laura Delaney greet you with a warm smile. However, behind Laura’s positivity and sense of humor is a life-changing incident: a scooter accident.

On September 14, 2015, Laura was riding her scooter from her apartment complex to CVS when she hit a pothole, launching her over her handlebars onto the pavement, right on her face. Although she has gone through two extensive surgeries,  physical and mental trauma, and a never-ending healing process, she has grown as a person and maintains a positive perspective of life.

HerCampus (HC): What serious injuries did you initially have?

Laura Delaney (LD): I had multiple fractures in my face, a torn ligament in my knee and a lung contusion.


HC: Did you realize what was going on when you woke up in the hospital?

LD: Not really. I saw my friends crying, but I wasn’t really sure why. It wasn’t until I woke up the next morning that I saw what had happened to me. I’ll always remember looking in the mirror that next morning. My feeling was indescribable.


HC: How did the accident change your way of thinking?

LD: Before the accident, I was so concerned with how I looked. I only saw my flaws and always wanted to change certain aspects about myself. The accident made me a lot more open-minded, and it gave me this certain realization of “Wow, I’m so grateful.”


HC: How did you keep up with your academics?

LD: During both the fall and spring semesters, I had to drop about half my classes. I went home a lot for surgeries and to be with my family, but my professors were very accommodating overall.


HC: How did people react to seeing you after the accident?

LD: For the first few months, the area around one of my eyes was stitched up wrong, causing my eye to look misshaped and more like a slit. People would definitely stare at me, and I felt like people pitied me more.


HC: What was it like getting back into your regular routine?

LD: I tried to become the young lady who I once was without realizing that I needed to move on. I needed to become a new version of myself. I didn’t go in public for a while, but my mom always encouraged me to not be so self-conscious. I returned back to UF and pretended like everything was back to normal. When I looked in the mirror, I had to learn to just ignore the physical differences and see the person I really was.


HC: What are your future plans?

LD: I will be graduating from UF in the summer of 2017 and starting my career in human resources.