11/14/2014 10:05 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2014

Niki Taylor Opens Up About The Biggest Tragedy Of Her Life (VIDEO)

Niki Taylor is a bonafide supermodel. She signed her first modeling contract at 13 and began walking runways in Paris soon after. At 15, she landed her first Vogue cover -- the youngest cover girl in the magazine's history. By age 16, she had earned her first million.

But Taylor's life is far from picture perfect. In 1995, she suffered the first of two life-altering tragedies when her sister Krissy died unexpectedly from a rare, undiagnosed heart condition at age 17.

"The biggest tragedy and loss in my life was losing my little sister," says 39-year-old Taylor, who opens up about her past on an upcoming episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?"

"We were very close. We worked together. We did everything together. I miss her very much," she says, choking up.

At that time, Taylor admits to self-medicating. "I was 21 and I didn't deal with it very good at all because I wanted to be numb," she says. "And I chose prescription drugs. That was my choice and not wanting to deal with losing my best friend."

Also in the above video, Taylor talks about the 2001 car crash that nearly took her life. She lost nearly 80 percent of her blood and was in a coma for weeks, requiring 40 surgeries.

"We turned onto an ordinary street," Taylor describes. "We hit a utility pole and the seat belt tore my liver in half. If I had been sitting this way or this way or just in a different position, maybe the outcome would have been different. But for some reason I was supposed to go through that and be in the hospital for three months -- be in a coma, die on the operating table twice."

"It was definitely a miracle that I survived," Taylor says.

In the video below, Taylor appears on HuffPost Live and discusses how blood donors gave her a "second change" at life after her accident.

Taylor's full update on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sunday, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.



Niki Taylor