By Dominic Garcia

PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – 19-year-old Morgan Koetter says she’ll always be grateful to the people who saved her life.

“I just really wanna say thank you, there’s no other way to say it. There’s no more inspiring words to say, everything you have done is incredible.”

crash 1 Girl Thanks First Responders Who Saved Her Life

(credit: CBS)

Koetter was involved in a horrific car crash, December 17, 2017. Morgan was riding in her boyfriend’s pickup truck going north on Parker road when they were hit by a vehicle that ran a red light heading east on Hess Road at a high rate of speed. The impact of the accident crushed the front of the pickup truck pushing the motor partially into the passenger’s compartment. Morgan’s seat belt failed and the impact threw her into the windshield and the dashboard. First responders with South Metro Fire Rescue found Morgan on the floor of the pickup and had to extricate her from the truck.

Paramedics performed lifesaving care in the field and transported Morgan to Parker Adventist Hospital where she was in a coma for three weeks because of a traumatic brain injury.

crash Girl Thanks First Responders Who Saved Her Life

(credit: CBS)

“You all really had to work hard and you had to be happy and hopeful and anytime I struggled or was down you were right there and weren’t going to let go,” she told a group from South Metro Fire Rescue and Parker Adventist Hospital.

Morgan was initially diagnosed with severe head and neck injuries as well as a lacerated carotid artery, damaged kidney, and liver. She was later diagnosed with severe brain trauma which affected her complete left lobe and the back of her brain from the impact. She also had facial and skull fractures, and a shattered jaw with a large number of teeth that had been pushed out or placed in odd positions.

crash 3 Girl Thanks First Responders Who Saved Her Life

(credit: Koetter family)

Three months after her accident, Morgan’s progress is nothing short of miraculous. She wasn’t expected to live, much less walk, talk and function on a normal level.

Morgan was just released from 24/7 supervision on Friday, March 23 and is undergoing a community reintegration class at Craig Hospital with the goal to help her get back into Metro State College. She will require some specialized help to accomplish this, but her family hopes that she will be able to continue her college studies.

“Even though I don’t remember them there’s still an emotional connection to them and I don’t know if I can really explain why. I feel grateful for everything they did.”

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

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