Appel Law Firm LLP Awards Scholarship to Hit and Run Survivor

The Auto Accident Law Firm Survivor Scholarship is awarded annually to college and graduate students who are survivors of hit and runs and car accidents and have overcome their injuries. The winner of this year’s scholarship, college student Kaylee McFarland, will receive $1,000 towards her school tuition.

About the Survivor

kaylee-mcfarlandKaylee is a student at the University of Northern Colorado, majoring in Human Services and minoring in Psychology. Before her accident, she pursued the pre-nursing track, but decided that she was no longer interested in the “medical side” of nursing. Kaylee is now more interested “in caring for a patient’s mental health especially following a trauma,” which led her to change her major to Human Services. She hopes to one day receive a Master’s in rehabilitation and counseling services and dedicate her time to improving the lives of accident survivors.

In high school, Kaylee was a role model student. She graduated from Eaglecrest High School with honors, was in the top 10% of her class, received the honors award for a 4.0 GPA and above four years in a row, and received an Academic Letter during her four years as well. However, her exemplary work ethic didn’t stop with schoolwork. She also worked as an Administrative Assistant in her campus’s Psychology Department, worked as a caregiver to seniors, and was a Sunday School teacher.

The Accident

Kaylee’s story reminds us that we should be grateful for the lives we currently live and to always help others in a time of need. In November 2016, a car going above the speed limit slid on black ice and skidded over the median, hitting the car in front of hers. Without any help from street lights or headlights from other cars, it was too late for Kaylee to see the accident ahead, and her vehicle slid on black ice as well and hit the car that caused the accident.

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Concerned for the unmoving and unresponsive driver still in their car, Kaylee left her vehicle to see if she could help. With her CPR experience, she figured there was something she could do while the driver who caused the accident called 911. Moments later, she was hit by a car going 55 MPH. She was thrown into the snowy median. 15 minutes later, first responders arrived.

The Aftermath and the Recovery

Eight months after the accident, Kaylee is still suffering from her injuries. With a shattered tibia and fibula on her left side, broken right femur, a pelvic fracture in three places, and several more injuries, life took an unexpected turn for her. She also suffered from a severe concussion, which led to more than 60 mini strokes, causing a traumatic brain injury.

Kaylee missed the last part of the Fall 2016 semester as well as the Spring 2017 semester as a result of her inability to move and do daily tasks without the help of someone else. But, despite her injuries, she shows tremendous strength. Her positive thinking and attitude helped her get through one of the toughest periods of her life. She appreciates “how difficult life can be for people who are permanently wheelchair bound” because it required great dependency and hinders access to certain places that aren’t wheelchair accessible.

We, at the Appel Law Firm LLP, are honored to present this scholarship to Kaylee McFarland and are thrilled to assist her in achieving her goals to go into Human Services. We also would like to send our best wishes to Kaylee as she proceeds to change the world around her.


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