MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A 20-year-old Myrtle Beach woman is embodying the phrase, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," after being pronounced dead during a car accident last year.
Today, Grayson Hucks, a nursing student at Francis Marion University, is continuing her dream.
"It definitely shows you how strong you can be," Hucks said.
In May 2015, Hucks was driving home from her summer job at Beach Urgent Care when she was part of a six-car collision.
Hucks was pronounced dead at the scene. Then, by the grace of God, she was very much alive. Doctors, however, learned she suffered a brain injury that seriously threatened her ability to take nursing classes ever again.
The young woman, as it turned out, was more than up for the challenge.
"Your attitude and physical healing are just so closely linked. If you are positive, you have so much more of a chance to make a full recovery," Hucks said.
Two surgeries, casts, wheelchairs and months of healing passed, with cognitive testing showing Hucks was still having some attention span issues.
Still, it didn't stop her.
"That's just not an option for me," Hucks said. "I can't sit around not accomplishing anything for another semester and summer. And so we immediately, from the testing, me and my mom went to the school."
FMU allowed Hucks to take nursing classes part-time, classes she's excelling in. Recently, the school also awarded her a $2,000 scholarship per semester.
"They don't realize how much they've impacted the recovery just by relieving stress," she said. "Finances and school is so stressful, and they've made it very welcoming to come back."
Hucks and her family wouldn't want to live this past year over again, but look at the silver lining. Their daughter is now back on track toward her dream, with plans to take two additional nursing classes next semester before going back to a full class schedule.
She still plans to graduate at 22.
"I've definitely been pushed to my limits," Hucks said. "I don't want to be pushed to them again. But I'm glad I was, because I definitely matured through it. If I wasn't an old soul before. I am for sure now."