Rachel Bailey is grateful to be alive after sustaining an internal decapitation during a car crash.
The 23-year-old from Phoenix, Ariz., told azfamily.com that she credits firefighters with saving her life.
Bailey was pulling out of a side street when she was hit by a full-size pickup. The accident left her skull detached internally from her spine, an occurrence that typically results in instant death, reports the Daily Mail.
But against all odds, and after a 5-week stint in intensive care that she has no memory of, Bailey has recovered her speech and motor function. This Monday, she had dinner with the firefighters who saved her.
"I've had so many people that I cannot express enough thanks for," she told Fox10. "But these guys are the ones who deserve the most, they were the first response and that was the most critical."
She told 3TV that she was intent on overcoming her injuries: "I'm not going to let this beat me or define me."
The firefighters were thankful, too, telling the station they appreciated seeing a positive outcome when they're used to intervening in only the worst moments.
According to Fox10, a Good Samaritan helped hold Bailey's head before firefighters arrived -- an action that possibly ended up saving her life.FOX 10 News - Phoenix, AZ | KSAZ-TV