'A True Fighting Spirit': Baylor Student Critically Injured in C - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

'A True Fighting Spirit': Baylor Student Critically Injured in Crash Heads to Rehab

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(KCEN) A big step toward recovery came Wednesday for a Baylor student critically injured in a fatal car crash last month.

Megan Ritzi, 18, was released from Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple early Wednesday afternoon.

It was an encouraging sight, with her parents right by her side as she left the hospital on the way to rehab.

They were all smiles, and as she was put in the ambulance, she said she was “feeling good,” and even “excited.”

Ritzi, who's from Fort Worth, has been in the hospital for two weeks, after being seriously injured in the crash that claimed the lives of two of her classmates at the end of July.

She broke a lot of bones in her lower body and dislocated her hip and knee in the wreck.

Trauma doctors said her right leg was so badly damaged, it had to be removed below the knee. Ritzi will be fitted for a prosthetic leg.

"A lot of people wouldn't have survived the injuries she survived. Most people wouldn't have,” said Dr. Matt Davis, director of trauma at Scott and White.

She now heads to the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas, with confidence on her side.

"You can always identify the people who have a true fighting spirit,” Davis said. “And I knew the first day she was here in the emergency department that she was going to be a pretty extraordinary story."

“This is going to be a tough situation for her to deal with,” added Dr. Mike Brennan, director of orthopedic trauma. “But after meeting her and her family, she's got an excellent support system. Her attitude is very good."

Brennan said because of her age and resilience, Ritzi could be learning to walk on her prosthesis within two to three months.

An online funding campaign for Ritzi's recovery had already raised nearly $27,000 by Wednesday afternoon.

No word yet on what could have caused the crash on July 29. A Department of Public Safety spokesman said they're still waiting to get cell phone records from the driver, 21-year-old Jake Hale.

Hale and Ritzi were headed to an International Clarinet Association meeting in Baton Rouge when the truck they were in veered off the road and into a tree west of Kosse.

Two other Baylor music students in the truck, recent graduate Laura Onwudinanti, 21, and 19-year-old rising sophomore Jack Stewart, were killed in the wreck.

Ritzi was about to start her freshman year in Baylor's music program.

Another piece of good news in her recovery, her family says she's been able to play her clarinet while in the hospital.

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