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Bay Area travel blogger recovers from severe brain trauma, shares survival story

Kaitlyn McCaffrey has traveled to most of the world gaining popularity for her travel blogs. But the short trip from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to her home in Santa Clara Thursday was perhaps her biggest.

McCaffrey's voice is still weak, but she says she is getting stronger. "I'm really grateful I can walk," she said.

McCaffrey spent months of difficult rehab at the hospital. It all stems from last July 31, the day that changed her life.

While traveling in Bali she somehow fell off her motor scooter and struck her head.
Two men found her on the road. Doctors say she had severe brain trauma.

Word reached her family in the South Bay.

"The doctor said she had a one percent chance to live. We thought that was it," McCaffrey's sister Jennifer.  

The family couldn't go to Bali because of COVID restrictions and insurance wouldn't cover the cost of a medical airplane to the Bay Area.

The family raised more than $300,000 through Gofundme.

The support of all the people has been very helpful," she said.

Through her medical care and rehab, McCaffrey has gone from a near vegetative state to being able to function.

"I learned how to walk. Drink water. It needs to get better but we are getting there. I have motivation," McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey still faces more therapy and rehab as an outpatient. It is unclear if she can ever be the same as she was.

"We are overjoyed as you can imagine. There are going to be a lot of changes and a long road ahead. We are just happy to have her home," said Jennifer.

McCaffrey says he has no recollection of how she crashed her scooter in Bali. There appears to be no surveillance video of it. How the accident happened remains a mystery.