Lauren Scruggs Kennedy on Surviving a Propeller Accident
Lauren Scruggs-Kennedy was popular for her beauty. But, this 23-year-old beauty will not always enjoy that supermodel look. In this show, she talks to Dr. Oz about her life after the propeller accident. In one adventure trip, she was hit by a moving plane propeller in which she lost her left eye and left hand.
At that time, she was a young model who was at the height of her career. But in an instant she was struck and disfigured by a moving airplane propeller. Her post-accident life was only the beginning of a new personal journey. Her airplane accident caught national media attention. She underwent more than 10 hours of surgery, and many more ways of healing before finding joy again. She learned how to stop feeling sorry for herself, discovered the true meaning of life and found the courage to face her fears.
When she started as a model, she thought that life was all about beauty, but now she says she has found what truly makes us beautiful. Three years after the tragic accident that transformed her life, Lauren Scruggs-Kennedy has written a memoir. Her book is called “Your Beautiful Heart”, and she is in Dr.Oz’s show to share her inspiring journey.
Dr. Oz asks her if there have been moments when she asked “why me?” and “why would this happen to me?”
Lauren explains that she never had that feeling, which was a surprise to her. She felt so much encouragement from the people around her that she did not really ask those questions. The real struggle was in pushing forward and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. She struggled how to get through one day or how to live through the 12 hours. She struggled with pushing towards getting healing and getting back to her normal life, as well as learning how to do things differently.
She shares how she copes with small changes after losing her arm and eye in the accident. She says there weren’t a lot of limitations that she felt because she just went with the flow. She adjusted to learning new ways of doing things that she used to do. She always figured out how to do things differently, trying out new things or calling another friend who has lost an arm. Her friend, Elizabeth Hamilton, gave her tricks how to do things. Elizabeth lost her one arm up to the shoulder, so she doesn’t have enough arm length as Lauren does. But she showed Lauren in one of their Skype calls how to put up her hair in a ponytail with one arm.
Lauren’s Workout Tricks
One of the things that really helped her was her love for workout. In her workout pictures, she makes it look okay, and in fact she is really okay with it. She needed to go to her prosthetist to ask for a “workout arm”. Because she loves to workout, they thought of different options in coming up with a special arm for her exercises. She does kickboxing, weights, handstands, cartwheels and pushups with her special workout arm.
Faith and Family kept her through
In this segment, Dr. Oz asks her about the emotional side of things and how she copes with that.
She explains, “Just honestly dependence on God. My faith honestly brought me through this, …amazing friends and family who are surrounding me and encouraging me. But a lot of moments, it still felt impossible, and I had to depend on something greater, so my faith has gotten me through.”
Dr. Oz then asks, “You went from being a very famous woman and being beautiful, to becoming famous for your disability—it’s a big move.” Lauren replies that it’s been a gift in a way just because she knows so many people are going through pain in their life, and seeing what encouragement her life has brought without her knowing it, has been a joy to her. She also has met girls who have gone through similar things and she’s been blessed by these new friends.
Finding True Love
Lauren overcame the physical challenges and the emotional ones. Now, she’s ready to face another phase in her life because she just recently got married.
In this segment, she tells of her love story. She says that everyone has been telling her that she would know if the guy she’s dating is ‘the one’, but she did not believe that, until she met Jason. When she started dating Jason Kennedy, she knew so fast. She explains, “There was just a peace about it, there was no worry or drama, it just worked.”
There was a crucial moment when she needed to show Jason her disabilities. And for her, it was the hardest moment. It took her so long to do it. It was about 6 to 8 months into dating. She and her siblings, with Jason, were on a trip when they prompted her that it was time. So she did show him, and admitted that it was quite awkward. It was a vulnerable thing for her, but she was surprised that he made it so comfortable and he didn’t see the flaws in it that she saw. Jason just saw her as a whole person.
Finally, Dr. Oz asked, “How was your definition of beauty changed over the years?”
Lauren answers, “Majorly. I didn’t know how much worth I found in beauty until after my accident because I realized what was affecting me the most. And I thought, ‘half my head is shaved, I don’t have my left hand, I don’t have my left eye, I don’t feel beautiful’. I was really struggling with that…how are people gonna react to me. They are probably not gonna compliment me anymore, or a guy’s not gonna find me attractive—so many lies going on in my head. I just came to realize that was so untrue, and I saw a lot of respect from people. They say ‘You’ve been through this, I’ve been through this, I can relate to this, let’s talk about this’. And, it really changed how I viewed beauty, and realized that beauty is internal—and I never understood what that meant. So, it’s been a really neat thing to experience.”
Her personal journey is all written in her memoir, entitled “Your Beautiful Heart: 31 Reflections on Love, Faith, Friendship, and Becoming a Girl Who Shines”.