How it all began

In December 2012, Asbury University freshman Courtney Baker wrapped up her first semester of college and packed her blue Mustang to head back home to western Kentucky. She packed too many clothes, unable to decide on what she'd need for the Christmas break. She had downloaded some new music and set her computer up on the passenger seat so she could listen. She was a little tired from her exams.

On a highway not far from Elizabethtown, she fell asleep at 75 miles per hour.

In her rearview mirror, Courtney's friend and volleyball teammate Sarah saw Courtney's car veer sharply to the left, plow through the median, soar into the air and crash against a guardrail on the opposite side of the highway. She raced to the car, fearing that she would find her friend dead.

Courtney was alive, and due to the way the car impacted the road, still conscious. Sarah prayed. Passers-by stopped, and they prayed too. Strangely, the computer played music through it all.

A week later, Courtney and her family made the decision to amputate her left foot, which had been severely injured when the floorboard of her car peeled away in the crash. The decision was practical -- the surgeries and skin grafts needed to have a chance of saving the foot would have kept her immobile and in the hospital for months -- but it was also a leap of faith. Courtney was the type of person who liked to be doing something -- shopping with friends, working out, spending time on the volleyball court with the team. If she lost a foot, what else might she lose?

This blog is a chronicle of the journey Courtney has taken since that day she woke up from surgery and began the process of bringing the parts of her that had not changed -- her faith, her family, her enthusiasm for clothes and sports and friends and music -- to this profoundly different reality. It's been difficult. In many ways, it's been good. And it's not over yet.

When Courtney's car crossed the highway, it was wedged between the road and the guardrail. Paramedics freed Courtney from the vehicle, and she was flown to a medical center in Louisville, Ky.
When Courtney's car crossed the highway, it was wedged between the road and the guardrail. Paramedics freed Courtney from the vehicle, and she was flown to a medical center in Louisville, Ky.

At first, it wasn't obvious that the foot would have to be amputated. Courtney had three surgeries to try to repair the damage.
At first, it wasn't obvious that the foot would have to be amputated. Courtney had three surgeries to try to repair the damage.

Asbury students, administrators and faculty visited Courtney in the hospital.
Asbury students, administrators and faculty visited Courtney in the hospital.