Nearly one year after model and fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs walked off an airplane and into a spinning propeller, she says she still can’t fully explain how it happened.
“I remember the sky was black; we were on the dark side of the plane,” Scruggs, 24, writes in her memoir to be released later this month. “It was December 3, 2011, and after that split second, I remember absolutely nothing.”
Scruggs had just landed after viewing Christmas lights from above on Dec. 3 when she walked into a moving airplane propeller at a private airport north of Dallas. The propeller sliced off her hand and doctors were forced to remove her left eye weeks later. The pilot, Curt Richmond, left the propeller running while Scruggs left the plane.
Scruggs was conscious, breathing and “somewhat” responsive but bleeding badly, according to the 911 call. She was rushed to the hospital, fighting for her life. In an instant, Scruggs’ world, and her family’s, changed forever.
“I was able to hold her,” Scruggs’ mom, Cheryl Scruggs, told “Good Morning America” just days later about that harrowing night. “That’s the toughest part of it all, just seeing her there waiting for the help.”
In the months after the accident, Scruggs underwent intensive physical therapy to relearn the basics — how to walk, talk, use a stationary bike, even dress herself — and pick up the pieces of her life. She eventually resumed writing fashion commentary on her LoLo website, shared photos of a family ski vacation in Colorado last year and, this week, took to Twitter to show off her prosthetics to replace the left hand and left eye she lost.
“Doing some filming action. Long day,” she tweeted, along with a photo of herself and friend Shannon Yoachum.
Scruggs smiles now, but devotes one chapter of her memoir to her difficult recovery, including everything from the awkward painting and fitting of her fake eye to her own self-consciousness about her new prosthetic arm.
“I don’t know why this is so hard, I said,” she writes. “Soldiers are dying in Afghanistan right now and I’m too chicken to do this one little thing.”
Scruggs reached a legal settlement with the insurance company for the pilot and the plane’s owner last March, a representative for her attorney told ABC News at the time. Though he would not comment on details of the agreement, it is rumored to be more than $1 million.
Scruggs’ memoir, “Still Lolo: The Inspiring True Story,” goes on sale Nov. 15. In the end, she says, she believes that her split-second encounter with the propeller blade may have made her a deeper, more introspective person.
“I came to see how there was so much more to my life than being worried about how I looked,” she writes.
ABC News’ Lauren Sher contributed to this report.