Teen wakes up from coma weeks after life-altering crash in Madison

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A teenager is sharing her story of survival now that she’s back home after a horrific wreck in Madison.

Carey Westrich spent weeks in a coma and credits her recovery to doctors who refused to give up.

On Monday, she returned to TriStar Skyline Medical Center to catch up with the staff in the ICU.

It was her home for months after wrecking her car along Briley Parkway at Brick Church Pike.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Witnesses said it looked like she was gonna miss her exit,” explained her mother, Tammy Westrich. “She rolled her car two or three times.”

Carey was soon in the care of doctors Darrell Hunt and Hail Mezghebe, who knew her odds of survival were slim.

“She’s at death’s door, she is as sick as a trauma patient can get,” explained Dr. Hunt, Associate Trauma Medical Director.

“The extent of injuries to Carey were as bad as you can get,” added Dr. Mezghebe, a trauma surgeon.

For weeks on end, with Carey in a coma, doctors performed procedure after procedure, providing more blood than either had before.

Injuries included a lacerated spleen, five broken ribs, and bleeding on the brain.

(Courtesy: Tammy Westrich)

“You have five liters of blood in your body,” noted Dr. Hunt. “We probably gave her 80 liters, 85 liters.”

After 85 liters and six long weeks, Carey opened her eyes.

It’s a moment that shocks her mother still today.

“You know, what are the words for that?” her mother told News 2. “She fought, she fought.”

Carey was released from the TriStar Skyline back in April. Her return on Monday was a goodbye of sorts.

The Westriches are headed west to be with grandparents in Oregon.

Though she and her new found family in the ICU will split, they want all to know just how thankful they are.

“We had the best doctors to help her,” said Tammy. “They would not give up.”

Tammy believes texting may have been a factor in the wreck. She hopes this story is proof for all young drivers at how dangerous distracted driving can be.