A film student has learned to walk and talk again after surviving a horrific fireball car crash that left him in a coma for two months.
K., 21 years old, was involved in a collision in August 2020, leaving him with third-degree burns over half of his body. K., from New Jersey, was placed in an induced coma and awoke more than two months later to his new appearance.
He recalls being taken to a room called the ‘tank room’ where doctors sprayed him down before scraping his burns whilst he lay on a metal sheet, describing it as the ‘worst pain ever’.
K., who was forced to write messages on a whiteboard after finding he could not speak after the accident, was in rehabilitation for six months as he had to re-learn how to walk and talk.
K. suffered third-degree burns over half of his body and was placed in an induced coma and awoke more than two months later to his new appearance
Speaking about the day of the car crash, K. said: ‘One random night, I needed a prop for a movie I was making. So I headed to the shop to print something but as I pulled out, a car hit me from behind.
‘My car went tumbling and into a tree before bursting into flames. I don’t know how I got out but I somehow managed to escape it.’
The stand-up comedian was rushed to a local hospital and was put into an induced coma.
He adds: ‘I remember getting to the hospital and it was like a movie scene. All of the doctors flocked around me.
‘I was worried about dying or losing a limb whilst they pumped me up with drugs to get rid of the pain.’
Keegan was bandaged from head to toe and put on a ventilator whilst in an induced coma.
K.’s car after the horrific fireball car crash in August 2020, which left him with severe injuries
K., who was forced to write messages on a whiteboard after finding he could not speak after the accident, was in rehabilitation for six months as he had to re-learn how to walk and talk
He said: ‘It wasn’t possible for me to breathe on my own as my lungs were filled with so much smoke. I woke up in October and I couldn’t talk.
‘I had to communicate using a whiteboard – it was horrendous. ‘Then they took me into a room called the ‘tank room’ and sprayed me down then scraped my burns whilst I lay on a metal sheet. It was the worst pain ever.’
In all, 42 percent of K.’s body was burned and he required eight surgeries and skin grafts on his torso, arms, and face.
K- said his sister, 26, was his ‘rock’ after the horrific crash. He added: She is the strongest woman I know. She was so supportive when I was struggling to accept my new appearance. I was devastated.
‘Burns heal slowly so for a long time, half of my face was puffy and bright red. ‘I remember checking my phone’s front camera every other minute to see if anything had changed. Adapting to my new look was so hard.’
K. also discovered his left foot was paralyzed and he still requires a brace to this day.
He adds: ‘I couldn’t speak for about two months as my face was so burnt. I had to communicate using a pen and whiteboard. ‘I will never forget how good my first sip of water was – it was incredible. I was discharged in November but went straight into rehabilitation for six months.
‘I was so depressed as I felt like my life had been turned upside down. I should have been filming my first-ever movie and enjoying parties with my friends, not learning how to walk again. It was very hard to adapt.’
As an out-patient, K. had to attend two physiotherapists per week. He adds: ‘I went through a dark period when I came out, I was finding every reason to not give myself a chance – I was in bed for months.
‘But whilst I lay in bed, I downloaded Tik Tok which gave me huge confidence as I get lots of positive feedback about my appearance. I would say I get a lot more attention online now.’
K. began to accept his new appearance and now uses his scars to his advantage. He said: ‘I was so devastated but now I am thriving with it. ‘I realized everyone loves a comeback story and now I can make jokes about it when on stage.’