CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - "Miracle"
That is the first word GOP Congressional candidate Katie Arrington wrote on a piece of paper when Sen. Tim Scott came to visit her in the intensive care unit at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Three days after a crash on Highway 17 in Ravenel injured Arrington and Jaqueline Goff, Scott gathered with MUSC doctors to deliver what was an overwhelmingly positive message about the pair's recovery.
"The remarkable part of this case is that neither one of the women suffered a traumatic brain injury, that is a huge win," Dr. Edward Erickson said. "The fact that they don't have a traumatic brain injury is amazing."
Erickson was the on-call emergency room doctor Friday night when Arrington and Goff arrived. Arrington went into surgery first, then Goff followed. The state representative and her friend had what he called "major abdominal trauma." Erickson said his team only sees injuries such as these five to seven times per year.
Both underwent additional spine surgeries on Sunday, but Goff's injuries will seemingly take longer to heal. Erickson said she will require multiple more trips to the operating room to address a massive soft tissue injury. Goff also has a broken nose, a broken rib, a colon injury, arterial injuries, a broken neck, as well as a broken foot and ankle.
Arrington meanwhile was taken off a ventilator Monday morning.
"There are no complications," Dr. Avery Buchholz said. "I expect she's going to do very well from this. She's doing very well today and we expect her to make a full recovery from that standpoint. There are other injuries which make this a little more complicated but from a spine standpoint,t she's going to be just fine."
Erickson hopes to have Arrington sitting in a chair within the next day or two with a possibility of having her stand at the bedside.
"Anytime you undergo that kind of surgery on your abdomen, the time you spend in the hospital is somewhat unpredictable," Erickson said. "The average amount of time you would remain in the hospital after this kind of injury is 10 to 14 days, Some patients are a little longer, some patients are a little shorter, but it takes some time for the abdomen to accept food and for all the bowles to get back to normal."
She's expected to make a full recovery and expects to be the party's nominee in November. Arrington campaign manager Michael Mule said Sen. Scott will fill in on campaign stops for Arrington. Scott himself said several other congressmen have reached out to do the same.
Arrington's great physical shape has also allowed her to make a quicker recovery.
"There were already plans in place for Katie and her family to take a week off for the Fourth of July holiday," Mule said. "Obviously we're going to move that up sooner than that and she'll have a couple weeks off."
The only updates previously had come from Arrington's campaign manager Michael Mule, who said Sunday afternoon that Arrington had undergone two additional surgeries and was on her way to a full recovery.
She has received the thoughts and prayers of many including President Donald Trump, Rep. Mark Sanford who she defeated a few weeks ago in the primary, as well as her opponent, Joe Cunningham. He has suspended his campaign until further notice while Arrington recovers.
The crash happened at 9 p.m. Friday on Highway 17 southbound near the 7400 block in Adams Run. Arrington and her friend, Jacqueline Goff, were headed south along Highway 17 when their vehicle was struck by White's vehicle driving in the wrong direction in the same lane, Charleston County Sheriff's Capt. Roger Antonio said.
White's son, Samuel, said he would miss his mother, but offered no comment on the high-profile nature of the crash.
Mule estimated Arrington would remain in the hospital at least two weeks.