Teen Learned the Hard Way That Life Is What You Make It

On May 22, 2021, 16-year-old Kennedy Littledike went through a breakup with her boyfriend. As she was driving home, she became emotional behind the wheel and lost control of her car. She overcorrected and went off the right side of the road, smashing into a utility pole. Because she wasn’t wearing a seat belt, she was catapulted out of the car 30 feet into the air, where she landed on a power line. Littledike dangled by her broken leg on the power line for over an hour until she was found. Today, she says landing on the power line actually saved her life because the main artery in her leg was pinched off by the power line, effectively cauterizing the artery and preventing her from bleeding out. She needed 21 surgeries to treat a broken femur, humerus, and clavicle, as well as a brachial plexus injury — a network of nerves in the shoulder that carries movement and sensory signals from the spinal cord to the arms and hands. Littledike underwent an amputation of her leg just above the knee. “In that moment, you’re 16 years old and all the dreams you had in your head are gone,” she said. Since her crash, the now 19-year-old has shared her story and managed to find humor in the situation. She says that before her accident, she struggled with mental health issues, even contemplating suicide. “I look back and think, ‘Wow, you’re pathetic,’ but look at me now. I’m in a whole different, harder situation, but I’m so much happier.”