Maple Lake senior makes the most of his second chance

7:32 AM, May 21, 2012   |    comments
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Aaron Carlson
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  • Aaron Carlson's CaringBridge web page
  • MAPLE LAKE, Minn. - Aaron Carlson fires up his laptop and takes you to his CaringBridge web page. He looks at the pictures of a smashed car and his battered, hospitalized body with almost a sense of amusement and why not? Aaron says, he has no memories of the day he almost lost his life.

    "I don't know if it was a side-effect of the drug that put me in the medicated coma, or if it was planned, but I just don't remember that day at all," Aaron told KARE 11's Tim McNiff

    What Aaron knows for sure is that he had just finished the last day of his junior year when he pulled his Toyota Camry into an intersection near the school.

    "Basically," says Aaron, "I was pulling out and taking a left onto 55 from Division and I was T-boned by a Suburban."

    The oncoming Suburban impacted the driver's side door and in-turn Aaron, who was at the wheel behind it.

    "Nobody thought I was going to make it," says Aaron. "Not even the surgeons half the time, who just thought I was going to pass."

    The collision left Aaron fighting for his life and with a host of injuries.

    "Basically, I cracked the left side of my pelvis," says Aaron. "I had broken a few ribs and had a collapsed lung and then the concussions and the brain surgery."

    Aaron was kept in a medically induced coma for weeks and it would be more than two months before he would leave the hospital.  But Aaron's recovery was aided by the support he received at school.

    Says Aaron, "Everyone has just been so forgiving, so welcoming, so helpful in getting me through this it's been great being back, being alive."

    A member of Maple Lake's marching concert and Jazz bands, Aaron has no memory of the accident but otherwise has made a remarkable recovery.

    He has maintained a 3.5 grade point average and plans to study computer science in college.

    And Aaron even manages to put a positive spin on his near-death experience.

    "A lot of stuff has changed for the better," says Aaron. "And I put a lot of work into a full recovery and I'm so proud of myself for how far I've come in such a short time."

    (Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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