I survived a horrible crash — and now I want a car for Christmas

A college student whose body was “split like a wishbone” in an auto accident — prompting even her surgeon to cry when she first wiggled her toes again — says there is only one Christmas gift she wants: another car.

“I know it sounds crazy, but I think I’m ready to get behind the wheel again,” Long Islander Raquel White, 21, told The Post.

And White’s father, Curtis, says he can’t deny his daughter.

“It’s a miracle she survived, let alone that she’s walking again. She can have whatever she wants,’’ the grateful dad said.

White, of Lindenhurst, was driving her Acura when she hit a divider on Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County at around 5:25 a.m. on Nov. 22, 2016. As she tried to get out of her car, she was struck by a pick-up truck — leaving her with a shattered pelvis, ruptured bladder, spliced rectum, torn uterus and broken leg.

Dr. David Forsh, chief of orthopedic trauma at Mount Sinai Health System, says he will never forget receiving the call from Good Samaritan Hospital, where White was taken, asking for his help.

“She was ripped from the front of her pelvis all the way through her rectum — she was ripped in half,” Forsh recalled.

“The least crude way to describe it was she was split like a wishbone. I don’t know why she didn’t bleed out.”

White had to be revived from death three times before she stabilized and he could operate, the doctor said.

Even then, he worried that all the skill in the world wouldn’t be able to repair her.

“Of all the cases I’ve done, she was the one that I lost the most sleep about, wondering if she would stand up and walk or be paralyzed,’’ Forsh said.

Raquel White lies in a hospital bed following her accident

“But after the first surgery, I put my hand on her forehead, and I said, ‘Raquel, move your toes.’ I literally started crying in front of everyone when she did.”

Although White still has a long way to go — she continues to use a colostomy bag and undergo physical therapy for her leg — Forsh says she has nonetheless made a “miraculous recovery.”

He credits White’s athletic good shape and inner drive — not to mention her supportive family and boyfriend.

“She had a lot of muscles from track and weight-lifting but more importantly, she has a fighting character. The people around her were fighting for her,’’ Forsh said. “She is an outlier and an exception.”

White, a student at Farmingdale State College who was majoring in criminal justice before the accident but now has plans to switch to medical courses, said she has no memory of the accident.

“I remember nothing. Not before, not during, not after. That whole block of time is erased. I look at pictures, and it makes me sad,” she said.

A source with the Suffolk County Police Department said neither White nor the driver of the truck — who stayed at the scene and called 911 — appeared to be intoxicated.

“It was an accident,” said the source.

White said her first memory after the incident was waking up in the hospital with her family around her.

“I knew something had happened, but I didn’t know what was going on. Seeing my family made me happy. My dad was there, and he ended up staying every night,’’ she said.

White spent last Christmas in the hospital, where she also celebrated her 21st birthday Jan. 19.

She was released in April and had another four months of in-patient rehab.


She said daily visits from her father and moral support from her high-school sweetheart, Xavier Miller, now a Marine at Camp Lejeune, NC, helped her through the toughest days.

“I didn’t know if I would walk, I didn’t know if I’d ever go to the bathroom by myself or have children,” she said. “It was scary.”

White said that while in the hospital, she repeatedly told Miller to find another girlfriend.

“I’d say, ‘I’m ugly, you won’t love me. I’m not the same person. It’s not what you want.’ But he told me, ‘Are you serious? Stop! I love you how you are!’ ” she said.

The couple stayed together and recently got the good news that her uterus had also healed.

“The least crude way to describe it was she was split like a wishbone. I don’t know why she didn’t bleed out.”

“I’m pretty sure I can have children,” White said.

“I’m still in a lot of pain, but I’m getting better every day.”

Christmas Day this year is being spent at home, with her family and Miller.

Besides toasting to their health, White said the holidays will be spent searching for a good used vehicle.

Her father, a 56-year-old construction worker on disability after an electric shock on the job, said he has been saving up to get her another car.

“She’s also been saving. She has two [thousand], I have two, and that’s giving us $4,000 to replace the car wrecked in the accident. Money is going under the Christmas tree for her to open,” he said.

White noted, “The next phase in my recovery is going to class and finishing school, and I’ll need a car for that.

“I remember how to drive, and I’m not afraid.”

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