Update: Taylor Carlton reportedly opened her eyes, gave her mother two thumbs up, and is making a “significant amount of progress,” according to a post on the Pray4Tay Facebook page created by Carlton’s family to provide updates on her recovery.
ST. GEORGE — A 16-year-old girl remains in a coma Friday after being critically injured Sunday during a vehicle rollover on state Route 18 that left the 18-year-old driver dead.
Five days after the rollover, Taylor Carlton, of Veyo, is listed in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George where she was transported via Life Flight following the crash.
Carlton was being driven home by her friend, Dixie High School student Drex Taylor, at about 3:40 a.m. The two were a couple miles from Carlton’s home when Drex Taylor apparently fell asleep and the car veered off the highway in Dammeron Valley traveling 65-70 mph, according to the Pray4Tay Facebook page created by Carlton’s family to provide updates on her recovery.
The vehicle drifted across the road to the opposite shoulder, turned 360 degrees and began to roll. Drex Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene after the car rolled twice and both teens, who were not wearing their seat belts, were ejected from the car. Carlton was found approximately 70 feet from the vehicle.
“In route (to the hospital) her lung collapsed and covered her heart stopping all blood flow to her heart,” Carlton’s family said in a Facebook post. “We were told they believed she wouldn’t make it to the hospital. They called ‘Code Blue’ and she passed. Fortunately, they were able to bring her back.”
Carlton suffered multiple fractures to her skull, face, pelvic bone and spine, according to her family. Her sternum and all of the ribs on her right side are broken. Carlton also suffered contusions on her spleen and pancreas along with a lacerated lung and severe road rash on her body.
On Thursday morning, Carlton had a tracheostomy – a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea to provide an airway for breathing – along with a feeding tube placed in her side.
By Thursday afternoon, doctors began to ween Carlton off sedation to see if she will start to respond to direct commands.
“Taylor is moving more, we can see her eyes are somewhat active while closed and she did open them once today,” according to the Thursday update. “Stimulation is still to be kept at a minimum.”
A Taylor’s Recovery Fund GoFundMe page, set up Sunday to help raise money for Carlton’s medical expenses, had garnered $6,352 from 90 people in five days.
“Taylor’s MRI provided positive and encouraging results,” according to the GoFundMe page. “While she is still in a coma with multiple fractures throughout her body, her MRI suggests that damage to her brain is very minimal. Her journey to recovery will take time, but we are positive that each day she will continue to make progress.”
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