Young SXSW Crash Victim Overcoming Challenges
Updated: Wednesday, April 2 2014, 06:24 PM CDT
One of the youngest victims in the South by Southwest auto-pedestrian crash is proving she's a survivor. On Wednesday, she opened up about the challenges she's facing and her plans to overcome them.
"I'm feeling great," said Mason Endres. "I'm doing awesome. It's amazing."
The 18-year-old is back on her feet and every little hop she takes is getting her closer to her goal.
"I'll definitely be graduating. Hopefully I'll be walking," said Endres.
The senior is focused on being able to walk across the stage to get her diploma from Liberty Hill High School.
"It's really humbling being an 18-year old girl and having to use a walker and learning to walk again, virtually," said Endres.
Endres is one of 20 people injured at the South by Southwest music festival. Austin police say 21-year-old Rashad Owens drove through barricades and plowed into a crowd of pedestrians.
"He ruined his own life and I can't let that affect me anymore," said Endres.
This Hill Country teen wants to move on and she's getting the support she needs to do it. Two days after the March 13 crash, the band she most wanted to see at the festival gave her a private concert in her hospital room at St. David's Medical Center.
"That whole experience was incredible," said Endres.
But, day to day, Endres says it's the little things that keep her motivated.
"My face was so beat up and now it's not, which is really cool," said Endres.
But, other developments are not as cool.
"We just found out today that I have a little break up here somewhere. But, it's fine it doesn't hurt. Well, I mean it hurts, but it's not bad," said Endres.
That tough attitude about the fracture in her arm is what's helping her cope with a fractured neck and broken leg.
"Amazingly strong, mentally and physically, so pretty proud dad," said the teen's father.
So, just imagine how he'll feel in two months, at Liberty Hill's graduation.
"I'll be walking or limping, something that doesn't require crutches or a walker," said Endres. "I mean it's an unlucky situation, but to be where I am now is very lucky."
Mason faces one more surgery on her leg. After that, doctors are optimistic about the future.
"I anticipate she'll make an excellent recovery," said Dr. Robert Lee, Medical Director of Stroke and Neurological Rehabilitation at St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital. "Our therapists are pushing her pretty hard. She's very motivated to get back and walking."