The model and blogger, who used to work in the wardrobe department on the ‘Gossip Girl’ set, is dealing with traumatic mutilation after walking into a spinning airplane propellor and losing her hand.
Lauren Scruggs, 23, took a short flight in a two-seater plane across the state of Texas to see Christmas lights on Dec. 3 when she accidentally walked into the spinning propellor at Aero Country Airport. Slashing her face and injuring her left hand so badly it had to be amputated, the model, blogger and former wardrobe stylist on Gossip Girl is currently dealing with the aftermath of the horrific accident.
Lauren sustained severe head and shoulder injuries, according to a spokesperson for the family, when she turned to thank the pilot and was caught in the spinning blade. Her left hand was severed, she suffered a skull fracture, brain injury and could lose her left eye.
“After exiting a propeller plane, an accident occurred where she walked into the front of the prop,” the spokesperson posted on the website, Caring Bridge. “Struck on the left side of her body, Lauren’s hand, head, and shoulder area were hit.”
The latest update from Monday afternoon said that Lauren was recovering from a slew of emergency operations — and the chances of Lauren ever seeing out of her left eye are still unknown. “Lauren’s surgery went very well this morning,” the statement read. “She is now resting in ICU with the family. She is able to open her right eye to see while her left eye is still bandaged. Please continue to pray for the vision of her left eye, as we will not know the status of her sight for some time.”
After waking up from surgery, Lauren was able to speak to both the doctor and her family, being able to correctly identify herself when the doctor asked what her name was. When her mother and twin sister told her they loved her, she said, “I love you too.”
“I was inside, and someone came in and told me she had gotten hit. I was there until the care flight got there. I was just able to hold her and… that’s the toughest part of it all, just seeing her waiting there and waiting for the help. All I could do was tell her that I love her,” her mother said.
Her father told Good Morning America: “They’re telling us it’s going to be a long recovery. Obviously she’s had a lot of trauma to her head, and she lost her left hand and her left eye is questionable. We’re praying she’ll regain her sight. What she’d tell you is her relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing in her life. Even though she cannot talk I know she’s relying on Jesus right now.”
Her mother added, “Lauren is a go-getter, her progress has been phenomenal. She is going to fight and she will fight through this. She will make it through.”
Family friend Janee Harrell said, “They landed and Lauren was getting off the plane so they could pick up another passenger. It was dark… we are thinking that Lauren came back to thank the pilot, and didn’t see that the propeller was winding down.”
According to RadarOnline, Lynn Lunsford, Mid-States Public Affairs Manager with the Federal Aviation Administration, said the fact thar the propeller was still moving when Lauren got off the plane is key to the investigation. “It appears that the pilot left the engine running at idle while she exited the plane to switch places with another passenger. That’s one of the aspects of the investigation,” he said. Although the pilot has yet to be identified, he is believed to be a friend of Lauren’s who recently purchased the plane.