AU Health nurse inspiring others after traumatic injury

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In just seconds, Amber Hendrix’s life changed.

“They weren’t sure how I was going to recover with how bad it [my injury] was,” she says.

Hendrix was just 19-years-old when she was tanning in her front yard and run over by a car. She was rushed to Augusta University Medical Center and had no feeling in her legs.

“They weren’t sure if my nerves would grow back or if I would be able to walk again.”

Hendrix was determined to walk again. The team at AU Health was with her for every step.

“We do everything we can to give patients the best chance to recover, but we also prepare them for the worst case scenario,” Dr. John Devine, the Chief of Spine Surgery at AU Health, explains.

Recovery was not easy for Hendrix.

“It was probably the hardest thing I think I’ll ever do,” Hendrix says.

After a year of rehabilitation, Hendrix defied odds and learned to walk again with no assistance.

“It was just amazing how much recovery she made from two weeks, to six weeks, to 12 weeks to her 36-week follow-up [appointment].” Devine says.

“You can want it so bad, and you can work for it,” Hendrix explains. “But, I had to wait, see and keep working.”

Five years later, and Hendrix is back at AU Health. She’s not there as a patient. She’s there as a nurse.

“I went into the operating room one day, and she’s the O.R. nurse running my room,” Devine recalls. “It was like a reunion.”

Hendrix was so touched by those who treated her as a patient, she now wants to care for others.

“You have to fight for yourself,” she says. “I know that I fought tooth and nail to get better. I think there was some divine intervention. I think I’m very blessed that I recovered the way I did.”

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