Woman hospitalized after accident, receives support from community

Amanda Shepard is on her way to recovery after sustaining severe injuries in a car accident on Tuttle Creek Boulevard on Feb. 7, 2016. (Allison Evans | The Collegian)

Amanda Shepard, 34, Manhattan, Kansas, resident and single mother of three, was involved in a car accident on Tuttle Creek Boulevard on Feb. 7.

Early Edition restaurant and Copeland Insurance Agency Inc., local businesses Shepard works for, have opened a medical fund for public donations in order to help with Shepard’s medical expenses, Vonda Copeland, vice president of Copeland Insurance Agency, said.

“She’s a single mom, she has three children, and it appears that she won’t work for quite a while so our goal is to help offset the cost of her bills,” David Uphoff, owner of Early Edition, said. “Anybody that can contribute (to the fund), that would be awesome.”

Shaina Stephenson, Shepard’s co-worker and friend at Early Edition, said she hopes people will step forward for a woman with a reputation for helping those in need.

“The first thing she ever asks is, ‘How are you doing?'” Stephenson said. “She was always that type of person that no matter how down she was, she’d always tough through it and always took care of everybody else.”

According to Copeland, Shepard was traveling east toward Manhattan when the driver of a pickup traveling the opposite direction crossed the centerline and collided into Shepard’s Grand Prix.

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Amanda Shepard's Grand Prix was totaled after a pickup truck collided with it on Feb. 7, 2016. (Photo Courtesy of Copeland Insurance Agency)

Shepard was air lifted to University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas. Copeland said Shepard was placed in an induced coma for a week and underwent several surgeries to repair the broken bones she sustained during the accident.

Shepard is now at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, where she said she is currently receiving four hours of occupational and physical therapy a day.

“My legs are basically the biggest thing right now,” Shepard said. “I broke my hip, my left femur in two places, my left knee, broke my pelvis and had to have my spleen removed and shattered my ankle. I won’t be able to stand until I see my doctor, 10 weeks out from my surgeries.”

Shepard said she does not remember the wreck very well, but does remember being helped by a stranger, whom she plans on finding to thank.

“He was from out of town,” Shepard said. “I vaguely remember him telling me, ‘It’s going to be OK. They’re coming.’ And then I leaned my head on his shoulder. He sat with me for quite awhile. I’m grateful for that.”

Shepard said she is still in pain but is looking forward to going home this Sunday. When she returns home, she said she will not be able to walk for more than a month and will require the use of a wheelchair, hospital bed and ramp.

“We’re still looking at about five weeks to be able to stand up and put weight on my feet,” Shepard said.

While the community is raising money to help with expenses, Shepard’s family is taking care of her children and pets.

“I’m lucky to have family, friends and bosses that have all come together full circle and have been very supportive,” Shepard said. “I’m in awe and I can’t believe that. I’m very grateful for all of that.”