North Texas woman paralyzed after hit-and-run now walking

A North Texas woman, once paralyzed, is walking again after a lot of hard work and physical therapy.

Video of Monique McDown's first steps has taken social media by storm. She suffered spinal and leg injuries in a hit & run accident one year ago, but last week she started to regain feeling.

"I didn't even know what to think. I kept thinking is this real, is this happening?” Monique said.

Monique's journey for the past year has been a battle. The 21-year-old woman was struck by a hit-and-run driver in July 2018 while in Brazil on a mission trip with her church.

“The left side of the car just came and ran over me on my right lower body,” Monique said. “My spine was damaged, it also caused a lot of vascular problems a lot of internal bleeding.”

Doctors started out hopeful about her recovery, though treatment and grueling therapy for months did nothing to reverse Monique's nerve damage. Doctors eventually said there was nothing more they could do.

Then four days ago, something unexpected.

“I took a few steps and it finally happened. It was an amazing experience that I'll never forget,” Monique said.

Monique’s mother, Nancy McDown, said it was a special moment.

“She asked me to extend my arm and I did, but she barely needed to grab it. So it was amazing to see her moving without the crutches,” Nancy said.

Monique’s dad was using his cell phone to record that moment.

“It's such a big change. You're not sure how to think about it immediately,” said Chris McDown. “But absolutely lots of excitement and I guess the feeling is gratitude, deep gratitude for the fact there's been divine intervention.”

Nancy gave all the credit to her daughter.

“I'm just so excited for that, and I'm excited I've been a part of it every day. I haven’t done anything. She's done everything.”