Texas car crash survivor joins TxDOT Click It or Ticket campaign
AUSTIN, Texas - As part of TxDOT’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign, a Central Texas woman joined the fight to encourage others to wear their seatbelt as she continues to suffer from a traumatic brain injury after surviving a near fatal crash.
"My name is Eden Ganzerla, and I've been directly affected by a car crash and the decision not to wear a seatbelt," said Ganzerla using the help of a computer.
Seven years after surviving a car accident, Eden says she is lucky to be alive. She shared her story as part of TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign to further push the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
"Because I have not buckled up, I broke nearly every bone in my body. I also suffered a traumatic brain injury that left me unable to walk, talk," she said.
Before the incident, her father John says Eden was very outgoing and had big plans for her future.
"Before her crash, Eden was a very outgoing, lively girl, enjoying the fullness of life with her animals in her work and her friends. She had a career," he said.
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Now, nearly seven years since that car crash, he says Eden depends on him and her mother to take care of even the simplest tasks for her.
"The biggest challenge for me since the crash has been the loss of my independence. I depend on my parents and caregivers to help me get dressed, hold things with my left hand, and go to the bathroom," said Eden.
After years of speech, occupational, and physical therapy since her accident, Eden has made progress, and she wants to continue so she can be independent.
TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket campaign is an annual reminder to all Texans to buckle up anytime they get into a car. According to TxDOT data, wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45%.
"In almost every one of my experiences, the seatbelt was the difference between death or a critical injury and somebody walking away from the collision," said ATCEMS assistant chief Michael Wright.
Eden and her family hope sharing her story will inspire people to want to buckle up.
"Every time we hear people say, ‘because of your story, I now put my seatbelt on’, it really does say a lot for us," said John.