GLENDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A Valley woman lost her leg and nearly her life one year ago after a driver plowed into her at a West Valley restaurant. Now after a grueling road of recovery and rehabilitation, she's back on her feet again.
60-year-old Terry Deignan was looking forward to a family celebration when she arrived at an Oregano's Restaurant last year. But that day a DUI driver nearly killed her, but she's alive and thriving and speaking out about how she's overcoming the tragedy.
"This was the scariest thing being that you don't know that the prosthetic is going to hold you up," said Terry Deignan.
Deignan was dragged and pinned underneath an SUV. The accident crushed her bones and severed her leg.
"I don't remember anything until I woke up in June, so it was 9-days later," she said.
While she doesn't recall the crash that changed her life, she bears the scars.
"Plates put in my face, fractures in my face, I had plates put in here. The whole hip is fractured, and then my knee was broke," said Deignan.
The most difficult injury she's had to overcome is losing part of her left leg. She spent 70 days in the hospital and several more months in outpatient and physical therapy.
"The reason it feels heavy is because you're used to having a leg down there. And the leg is alive you don't feel the weight of your leg," she said.
The first steps on her prosthetic leg were the hardest, but now she's climbing stairs with ease.
"She had so much to overcome. She came through so well, all I can attribute that to is a level of mental toughness that a lot of people just don't have," said Lonnie Coughran.
Throughout her struggle, Lonnie says Terry never gave up.
"Life's not over; I wanted to look forward to retiring and traveling and grandchildren. I want to attend different things with them; I just want to be there," said Deignan.
She doesn't spend a lot of time focusing on what she can no longer do, nor does she spend time thinking about the man who put her there. Police say the driver was impaired.
"I'm trying not to hold that in and be ugly about it, I'm trying just to let it go," she said.
Instead, she's pouring all her mental and physical energy into her recovery. One day she plans to hike up a mountain again.
"That is a goal, and my son and my son in law will both be on each side of me when I'm ready, and they'll take me up to the top. So I'm looking forward to that," said Deignan.
The driver, 50-year-old Frank Kitko Jr. is facing two felony counts of aggravated assault. He's out on bond, and his court case is still going through the legal system.