Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero: Heather VanArsdale

Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 7:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A young woman who truly is a walking miracle and was able to overcome all odds after a car wreck took her life for a spin.

"On October 29th of 2012 Heather was in a car accident she was a freshman here at Lindsey Wilson College," said BethVanArsdale, Heather's mother. "We were called to the scene and it was a pretty bad car accident. It was a single-car accident near our home she had hit a tree and airlifted to U of L."

Once they arrived at the hospital they were told she had severe head trauma and wouldn't make it through the night.

"Through several days we were told that she was brain dead and that we needed to take her off life support but God gave us a different scenario of that and we chose not to take her off life support and she remained in a coma for over 45 days," added Beth.

Once Heather came out of her coma she worked for a year and a half through intensive therapy to meet her goal of returning back to Lindsey Wilson College and she was welcomed back with open arms.

"Just like a champion she would chip away at classes until she eventually worked up to where she could handle a full-time load and did well in those classes," said Traci Pooler, Dean of Admissions at Lindsey Wilson College.

"In life one of the mottoes that I go by often is if something is truly important to you, you are going to find a way to make it happen and you are not going to make excuses and Heather is that kind of person," said Laura Burwash, Director of Career Services, Lindsey Wilson College. "She has found a way and she continues to find a way and she never makes an excuse."

"I first met Heather when she was a freshman at Linsey Wilson College and I was so drawn to her because of her personality and the way that she was very vulnerable, about allowing others to know that she had overcome a very difficult time in her life, an obstacle where that her then pursuing her dreams of a college education became this motivational force," said Ben Sonsexton, Assistant Professor of Communications, Lindsey Wilson College.

This past may Heather was able to walk across the graduation stage and has a dream of becoming a special education teacher next year.

"Watching her start school all over again like as if you had dropped her off at preschool, watching a child for the first time going back to school it was an emotional day and a proud day," added Beth.

Heather is also sharing her story and telling those who may feel discouraged if she can do it so can they.

"A lot of people they don't understand like anything can just happen to you and I want to be able to lead by example to let people know that you can do anything if you put your mind to it," said Heather VanArsdale, Hometown Hero.

For her perseverance and leadership, we honor Heather as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.

"Because I don't want people to give up I want people to know that if you put your mind to it God will help you through it no matter what because God, of course, helped me through everything that I went through," added Heather.