By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4)– October 13 will mark one year since a driver with a bullet wound hit the Mills’ family car head on. All six family members inside were hurt, three critically.
It has been a long but remarkable road to recovery for this family that includes 12 children.
The six people in the crash were taken to three different hospitals. The most severely injured was mother and driver, Zuton Lucero-Mills. She was rushed to Denver Health, but doesn’t remember much.
“I remember driving,” said Zuton.
But Zuton never saw what hit her Chevy Suburban. She has plenty of pictures of the aftermath of the head-on collision.
“You can see the broken glass,” she showed CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Another driver had crossed a median at 33rd and Peoria in Aurora before smashing into their SUV.
“The impact was like a bomb had been dropped on us,” said Stan Mills, husband, father and passenger in the front seat.
Stan and their four children in the SUV were hurt.
“I remember hearing my kids screaming,” Stan said.
Daughter Ashantay and Stan were in critical condition.
“Once I collected myself, I looked to my left and I saw my wife die,” said Stan.
Zuton was pinned, both legs were broken. The steering wheel and dashboard had crushed her chest.
“The impact of the accident caused a hole in my heart,” she explained.
“Her heart had actually stopped when she arrived here at the hospital,” said Dr. Eric Campion, trauma surgeon at Denver Health.
Campion and a trauma team were able to repair the 2-inch tear in Zuton’s heart.
“Less than 1 percent really survive,” Campion said.
Zuton spent more than two months in Denver Health Medical Center. Stan transferred there from another hospital to be by his wife’s side.
“To be able to talk to her, to be able to touch her, it meant everything to me,” he said.
Zuton is grateful to doctors, but believes her life was in other hands.
“God is the ultimate physician. God is the ultimate miracle worker. I would not be here if not for God,” she said.
Here with Stan to raise their 12 children and here to celebrate being alive.
The Mills say the case against the driver who hit their SUV is pending.