Republican congressional candidate State Rep. Katie Arrington is headed home from the hospital Friday, two weeks after a fatal car crash with a wrong-way driver.
She briefly spoke with reporters at Medical University of South Carolina hospital, where she has gone through several surgeries to fix broken ribs and internal bleeding.
“My first stop is leaving here and going to see my mom,” she said. “She’s in hospice and unable to see me. And then, (Saturday) I plan on sitting in my bed, taking my pain meds on a regular basis and doing exactly what the doctors tell me to do. For at least a day,” she added with a chuckle.
Arrington said she is still in a lot of pain but wants to go home. “I may look good on the outside… I am in a great deal of pain,” she said. “But I want to go home.”
The June 22 crash happened just a week after Arrington defeated Congressman Mark Sanford in the GOP primary. Arrington was riding with a friend along U.S. Highway 17 her way to receive an award in Hilton Head for her work as a legislator when another driver heading the wrong direction crashed into the vehicle head-on. The other driver, 69-year-old Helen White, died from the collision. Arrington’s driver also suffered serious injuries, but is expected to eventually recover.
Arrington, a Catholic, said she felt God’s presence in surviving the crash. She reasoned God has a plan for her, and thought it may be trying to improve healthcare issues. “God had a purpose and a reason and now I need to fix those things,” she said. “I knew about them before, I’ve lived them, tasted them, smelled them. And I can tell you, like nothing else, I am a determined woman. So it’s made me stronger.”
In addition to the broken ribs, Arrington also suffered a fractured ankle, foot and vertebrae, injuries to her small bowels and internal bleeding from her abdominal wall.
Her Democratic opponent in November’s election Charleston attorney Joe Cunningham said he was glad to hear the news. “Amanda and I are thrilled to hear that Katie is leaving the hospital and we continue to pray for a full recovery,” he said in a statement posted to social media. “In the weeks and months to come, voters will hear two very different visions for the Lowcountry and we look forward to a spirited debate on the issues.”
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott plans to campaign on Arrington’s behalf while she recovers.