Local News

Faith, family, friends helps teen recover from car crash

Posted December 18, 2014

— Two months before she was in a September car crash that claimed the life of her friend, 16-year-old Skyla Kirby received a dog for her birthday.

Thinking about coming home to her new pup, which she named Dakota, motivated her through a two-week stay in the hospital.

“All I could think about was her and knowing that if came home as soon as I did, then I’d be able to see her again,” Kirby said.

She said the chance to spend the holidays home with her family is a Christmas miracle, one she’s grateful for after the harrowing crash that killed her friend, 15-year-old Braden Rock, and injured two others.

Rock’s sister, Faith Rock, was driving near Heritage High School in Wake Forest when the car was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

“Sometimes I look back and think about how I was so close to dying, but I was able to pull through,” Kirby said.

She said she relies on support for her family and close friends, including Faith Rock, who is her Bible study buddy.

“We hang out, like, all the time and text each other every single day,” Kirby said. “We’re just a lot closer. It brought us all a lot closer.”

While she continues her recovery, Kirby surrounds herself with all the cards and supportive letters she received after the crash. She has posted most of them on her bedroom wall, loving reminders of her faith, family and friends.

This week, Kirby was able to put away her crutches and walk on her own. She plans to return full time at Heritage High in January.

“I was thinking of how I can actually walk on Christmas, and how much better that feels now, and just that I’m here still,” she said.

Kirby is staying busy working on an online fundraiser for her “baby girl,” Dakota. The dog needs reconstructive surgery on her hind legs.


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  • Amy Macon Dec 19, 2014
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    Glad she is on the road to recovery. That was a sad day back in September. I also donated to Dakota's expenses. I wish them both the best.

  • foodstamptrader Dec 19, 2014

    Glad for her recovery. The trauma she and her friend Faith must have suffered at the death of her brother must have been terrible. Best Christmas present for her is recovering her ability to walk and function. Best of luck.

  • CommonSenseLuddite Dec 19, 2014

    Some amazingly cynical people on this board today. These children have suffered immensely, yet petty people with little else in their lives (apparently) seem compelled to hack at the writing and belittle what these children are doing as they struggle through recovery. You must be the same people who have problems with the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life". Sheesh.

    It is heart warming to see how they are persevering through a horrible accident. May they find happiness and peace in this holiday season.

  • Tom Smith Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    psychic police who can forsee your poor driving and arrest you before you even do it! maybe they can even come get you in bed that morning before you get up and drive badly that day!!!! local yokel for president!

  • A person Dec 19, 2014

    The story is poorly written again. It starts out by talking about the dog she received and ends talking about the dog needing reconstructive surgery, but no reason given. Try again WRAL. Journalism school might be a great place to start