PORTLAND - Jessica Astle is quick to tell you it has been 416 days since she broke her neck in a car crash less than two miles from her home in Idaho.

That s more than a year and she hasn t been home since.

In September, Portland s Randall Children s Hospital became her home for treatment she couldn t get in Idaho.

The 17-year-old has endured dozens of surgeries and 51 days of intense physical therapy. She s also been going to school while in the hospital and getting speech therapy along with acupuncture.

When I first came here, my trauma surgeon said it might be six months before I could get my first surgery and now after six months I m going home, said a smiling Jessica.

Her Mom has lived the past several months at the Ronald McDonald House.

Jessica has always been a fighter. What strength I haven t had to get through this, I ve been able to get from her, remarked Heidi Rice.

Her physical therapist has seen that fighting spirit.

She s exceeded all of our expectations, said Nicole Canale. She s only able to move her shoulders and part of her elbow. She has a little bit of extension in her wrist. Other than that she has no movement.

Jessica refused to give in to those limitations and focused instead on her ambitious goals.

My goal was to become as independent as I can, learn how to drive my chair, brush my teeth, feed myself, explained Jessica.

Her next goal is to surprise high school classmates at what would have been her high school graduation in Meridian, Idaho.

She plans to finish high school by February and then go to college.

This has been an amazing journey but I can t wait to see what Jessica is going to do next, said her proud therapist, This girl is going places.

For now, Jessica is just happy to be going home to Idaho on Wednesday exactly 417 days after her accident.

Read or Share this story: