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Kayt Hyatt:'I'm grateful to be alive'

November 13, 2013 - Kayt Hyatt was paralyzed in a car accident this past summer, but she is still finding much for which to be thankful.

"I've found a sense of gratitude in all this," said the 21-year-old. "I am very lucky to be alive and could have easily died in that accident. I am very grateful to have survived and for everything people are doing for me."

Hyatt, a former employee of Jet's Pizza and Mama Edda's Custard Shop, located at the corner of M-15 and Mill St. in Ortonville, was on her way to work at around 9:45 a.m. July 21 when her life would change forever. As the former Davison resident crested a hill on Bristol Road in her Equinox, she came upon a truck parked in the road. Unable to brake in time, she tried to go around the truck, but her vehicle spun out on dirt and went off the road, striking pine trees and flipping on to its side. Hyatt was thrown across to the passenger side of her vehicle and one of her vertabrae was shattered in the accident.

Emergency responders used the Jaws of Life to extract Hyatt, still conscious, from the vehicle. At Hurley Hospital, a doctor informed her she was paralyzed from the waist down.

"He told me I would still be able to live a long life and have more children, but I would never walk again," said Hyatt, who has a 2-year-old son, Maddox. "I started crying when the doctor told me that, I cried a lot, but I accepted it really fast, better than my Mom and others. It's been really hard on my family."

After about three weeks in the trauma unit, she was moved to the rehabilitation floor, where she spent another three weeks. She now lives with Maddox in a condominium complex in Otter Lake which has accommodations for residents with special needs, particularly those in wheelchairs. Hyatt goes to physical therapy four days a week, two hours per day, at a private facility in Holly that specializes in spinal cord injuries. She is working on gaining arm strength to be able to go farther in her wheelchair and do self-transfers from the chair.

Hyatt has a home health aide as she works to become completely independent and care for Maddox. As she talks about the challenge of caring for an active toddler, her son says, "Mama, I want more cake."

"It's really hard, I told him I had a boo-boo on my legs and can't use them anymore," Hyatt said. "It's a very tough situation. I am staying very positive and take every day as it goes... I am focusing not on what I have lost, but what I still have."

A Jet's Pizza fundraiser organized by Hyatt's former co-workers, Katie Van Buren and Jessica Britton, will be Tuesday, Nov. 19. On that day, 25 percent of all sales at the Jet's Pizza store, 11 S. Ortonville Road, will go to paying Hyatt's medical bills.

"I've worked with Kayt a little over a year, she's always been really positive and a ball of energy," said Van Buren. "She's a great person and deserves great things."

To place an order on Nov. 19 and help Hyatt, call Jet's at 248-627-6300.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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