GRAND RAPIDS, MICH - For Rockford's Lauren Brasure, simple cognitive and word exercises isn't what she planned to be doing this winter. Her plan was to continue her career as a star cross country runner at the University of Florida.
Those plans changed suddenly on December 9, 2015.
"The driver said that he was swerving not to hit any of (her friends) and I had just gotten off the phone with my friend and was going to take a step off into the road, barely took a step and he was swerving into me," says Lauren of the night of her accident.
Lauren suffered two broken clavicles and a severe brain injury. She spent most of the next two days in surgery before weeks of recovery.
"I remember like flashes of being in the hospital. I remember like a friend coming to visit me and seeing her but it feels like a dream," says Lauren.
Eventually she moved to a specialty hospital near Atlanta and then finally back home to Michigan on New Year's Eve. Since then, she has been at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and recovering as fast as possible.
"You can definitely tell with the way that she presents herself, very competitive," says speech and language pathologist Danielle Arnold. "She wants to win, she wants the best, she wants more homework, she wants to push herself."
"I was more impulsive so I wanted to be down in Florida, I wanted my life to go back to normal but I didn't understand like what happened I didn't understand it's a process," says Lauren.
Slowing down was never a thing Lauren enjoyed doing. In her very first home meet at Florida, she broke the track record. Everything is always full speed with her.
"I really learned different things that I liked to do other than just running and being with people because being with people used to give me such headaches," says Lauren. "I think that this recovery process has taught me a lot, which I am thankful for."
Physically, Lauren is almost right back to where she was, it's the speed of her mental processing that is keeping her from being 100 percent.
"The word is just in my mind but I just cant get to it," explains Lauren.
"Lauren's goals are more cognitive processing so we are looking at speed of memory speed of processing, all forms of attention, multi-tasking," says Arnold.
"Being an athlete and then going to school and having a social life, like it's hard to balance all that," says Lauren.
This week, she finishes her rehab at Mary Free Bed. Next month, she will travel to Florida to see about online summer school classes with the plan to be back in Gainesville for good in the fall and hopefully competing next season.
"When I think of that now, it just overwhelms me," says Lauren. "Because I know I couldn't right now, but who says that in a year from now I could."
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