TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As thousands of students return to the University of Arizona, one student’s comeback is being called a miracle.
Ashley Murray has gone through a year-long recovery after a crash last December in her California hometown while on winter break.
Murray says she was riding home in an Uber after a night out with friends when the car was hit by a suspected drunk driver in the early morning hours, just days before Christmas.
The crash left Murray in a coma for nearly three weeks.
“The doctors basically told my family, if she wakes up, she’s not going to be Ashley anymore,” she said.
She underwent nearly a dozen surgeries and has spent countless hours going through rehab that she continues to this day.
She can now walk and talk and is focusing on regaining better range on motion in her hands.
“I never really had a problem walking, my legs have always been moving. And I used to communicate by wiggling my toes before I could talk,” she said.
Murray was supposed to graduate last May. She and her mom moved back to Tucson this week so she could finish out her final semester.
“I came here four years ago, thinking that I would graduate in 2018 and that was put on hold, so I just want to finish it and put it behind me,” she said.
She says she’s excited to walk across the stage in May.
“It’s going to be crazy. I’m going to have like a fan section. My whole family is like we’re coming and that’s a lot of people,” she said.
She plans to work in the public health field while she continues to regain strength in her hands, but she hopes to continue her original plan of going to nursing school.
“I want to be a NICU nurse, so like a baby nurse,” she said.
Murray’s family calls her recovery nothing short of a miracle, saying her determination to finish her degree is admirable. Meanwhile, Murray says she simply wants to finish what she started.
“I’ve always been really dedicated to school and I just want to finish what I started,” she said.
Murray says she’s grateful for tremendous support she received from her friends and family.She’s also thankful for the hundreds of strangers who donated to her GoFundMe account to help with her recovery.