Woman’s recovery continues one year after spending nearly week trapped in car wreckage

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DENVER -- One year ago Tuesday a Highlands Ranch woman was seriously injured, trapped inside her mangled car that went off of a mountain highway.
Kristin Hopkins, 44, would remain there for a total of six days until someone finally spotted the hidden wreckage.

The accident forever changeed the course of her life because doctors had to amputate her crushed feet. After her rescue and remarkable ability to survive for so long without food and water, she spent two months in the hospital.

But her recovery is still ongoing--her determination to return to as normal of a life as possible drives her every day. “There’s nothing I can do to change what happened,” she says.

Sometimes life can be a struggle for any of us.

“You have to take what happened and go with it.” But for Hopkins struggle is what reminds her of the alternative. “Just being able to wake up in the morning and be alive. That is awesome,” she says.

She’s getting her prosthetics adjusted at Creative Technologies in Denver after losing her feet in the single-car accident.

“I don’t know how or when. When I woke up I was curled up in the middle of the car on the roof,” she says about the accident, in which she also suffered a brain injury.

Last April 27, her Chevy Malibu plunged about 120 feet down an embankment south of Fairplay in the mountains.

For nearly a week, she was trapped and broken, with no food or water. “In my mind, someone was going to find me,” she says.

And they did after six days. But it was too late to save her feet. ”Can I wear heels yet? No. Do I really like shoes? Yes, I do. Ha. But it is what it is. I’m alive,” she says.

Alive—but each day is a challenge.

Hopkins is determined her injury won’t stop her from strutting her stuff—even without feet. “I am not setting up to be an inspiration to anybody else but my kids. If I inspire anyone, that’s great. But I got four kids that need to see that you just don’t give up.”

It’s a lesson we can all learn: life is hard, but you can still take steps toward a happy future.

“I never knew I was this strong. I was like, ‘Hmmm.’ I’m like, ‘Bring it!’”

Monday is the one-year anniversary of her rescue from her car's wreckage. She hopes to visit the nurses and staff at St. Anthony, who for 25 days, nursed her back to health.

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