Southeast freshman defies odds after car wreck, graduates high s - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast freshman defies odds after car wreck, graduates high school with honors

Not only is she the first, but Lincoln graduated from Woodland High school in the top 10% of her class. (Source: Whitney Lincoln) Not only is she the first, but Lincoln graduated from Woodland High school in the top 10% of her class. (Source: Whitney Lincoln)
She broke her cheekbones, nose, temple, and several bones in her face. (Source: Whitney Lincoln) She broke her cheekbones, nose, temple, and several bones in her face. (Source: Whitney Lincoln)
She won a National Guard Scholar Athlete award this year, and was prom queen at Woodland High School. (Source: Whitney Lincoln) She won a National Guard Scholar Athlete award this year, and was prom queen at Woodland High School. (Source: Whitney Lincoln)
Lincoln tells me she’s excited for a future she thought she might never have, and she realizes how special she really is. (Source: Whitney Lincoln) Lincoln tells me she’s excited for a future she thought she might never have, and she realizes how special she really is. (Source: Whitney Lincoln)
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

This week hundreds of freshman are settling into their dorm rooms at Southeast Missouri State University.

Including one young woman from Marble Hill who overcame a lot to be there.                               

August 19 is new freshman Whitney Lincoln’s first day living on Southeast’s campus.

“I’m excited. It’s gonna be great just to get out and go to college. Be the first in my family to," Lincoln said.

Not only is she the first, but Lincoln graduated from Woodland High school in the top 10 percent of her class.

She won a National Guard Scholar Athlete award this year and was prom queen at Woodland High School.

She achieved all of this while defying the odds.

“I was on a gravel road with my friends in a jeep, and we it a ditch. It came to a stop. I flew from the backseat to the front seat. I smashed the windshield," Lincoln said.

Lincoln said she wasn’t wearing her seat belt.

She broke her cheekbones, nose, temple and several bones in her face.

“I couldn’t feel anything. I guess I was in shock, and then all the medicine was kicking in, and I was kinda just lying in a hospital bed," Lincoln said.

Lincoln says she was in the hospital for a week and went through several surgeries.

It dawned on her that this accident would affect the rest of her life when she went back to school.

She started her senior year with an undiagnosed concussion and going through constant therapy.

Lincoln said people looked at her differently.

“They wanted to know what happened. I just wanted to be open with them. I just want you to be aware, to wear your seat belt," Lincoln said.

She had to relearn a lot.

“I had to learn how to chew, and learn how to speak again. I had to do many stretches throughout the day not even in therapy," Lincoln said.

Now, she has a new mission in life.

She’s studying autism education at Southeast.

“I want to help families know they can communicate with them just cause they don’t do things that we do. They’re still there. They know what to do," Lincoln said.

Lincoln said she still lives with pain.

“It hinders me from really enjoying life, and I have a little bit of memory loss now and then," Lincoln said.

But Lincoln said she fights through it.

“You gotta let go and let God. He will always be there for you. When you’re positive – just everything your whole entire perspective changed. People around you will change. It will just help you get through."

Lincoln said she’s excited for a future she thought she might never have, and she realizes how special she really is.

“I survived an accident that I probably shouldn’t have. It’s amazing that I’m still here," Lincoln said.

Lincoln said she couldn’t have succeeded without support from her mother, friends and family.

She hoped to open her own autism center one day.

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