Noel Shannon: "Don't Take Life for Granted"

A 23-year-old Walla Walla woman is recovering following a car accident on the night of July 5th in Milton-Freewater that caused her to lose her leg.

"I couldn't believe it was happening to me and I really thought I was going to die," said Noel Shannon.

While leaving a photograpy trip up in the mountains, Noel swerved to avoid hitting a deer.

Her pickup truck turned over, landing on the drivers side.

Noel's leg was stuck under rocks and the door frame.

Spending hours in the dark trying to free her leg, Noel heard wolves and got desperate.  

"I seriously thought about amputating my leg and I was like no i can't do that," said Noel. "I'm going to dig myself out. If it comes to that, I'll do it but I don't think the keys would've worked anyways."

After 10 hours of fighting she ripped her foot from the rocks but was too weak to get very far.

That's when two men found her.

"I see this older Toyota 4-Runner coming up the road," said Noel. "It was like they were angels from heaven."

Noel was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla and tranferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where her left leg had to be amputated from the knee down.

"Nobody wants to lose a leg," said Noel. "I mean it sucks but it could've been a lot worse."

Noel said she doesn't want this to stop her and moving forward she wants a running leg so she can stay active.

"I would love one of those," said Noel. "Running is one of my favorite things to do, I would always run with my dog and I want to get back to that."

Noel's mom almost couldn't believe the fight her daughter gave for her life.

"I'm so proud of her and her will to survive," said Christa Shannon. "I am just so impressed."

"Just don't take life for granted, you never know when your last day will be," said Noel.

If doctors can get Noel's pain completely under control, she'll be back home in Walla Walla in a few days.

She'll have to go back and forth to Seattle over the next 6 months for rehabilitation.

For now, she's excited to be have a chance to get back with her friends, family and a community she loves and grew up in.

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