Fight Like Hell

03/01/2023 01:06 AM By Lisa Anderson
Lindsee Kirby
Lindsee Kirby
Story & Photos by Mark Anderson

Fight Like Hell

Accident Victim Lives Her Best Life

On November 29, 2021, Lindsee Kirby’s life forever changed in an instant.

Driving to her first day of work at a new job, Lindsee was in a serious accident. A car pulled out in front of her, leaving her with a shattered shoulder and hip, a fractured knee, three fractured vertebrae, multiple fractures to her pelvis and pubic bone, and a blood clot in her carotid artery.

“I woke up, and all I remember was this older guy with a brown mustache, like a cowboy, and he was like, ‘Don’t move! Don’t move!’” she explains. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh great, I’m going to be late to my first day of work.’ I was still worried about that. It was just how the movies say it—you’re disoriented, sounds are in and out. You’re so confused, and I had no idea of the trauma on my body.”

With adrenaline coursing through her body and feeling no pain, Lindsee says one of the first realizations of the seriousness of her situation was the look on the face of one of the responding paramedics—a classmate she coincidentally knew from school.

 “He realized it was me, and he just looks at me so sadly, and I’m like, ‘Why are you looking at me like that?’” she recalls, getting emotional. “He goes, ‘I’m going to get you out, okay?’”

The Road to Recovery

Lindsee’s father Daryl Kirby, the owner of Kirby Family Farm in Williston, put his busy life on hold to stay by her side throughout her ordeal.

Lindsee was hospitalized for three months and bedridden for five, and slowly but surely, she has progressed through physical therapy in the months since.

Learning to walk and move again was the hardest thing she’s ever done, Lindsee says, and there were times when everything seemed insurmountable. Ever the optimist, she found a way to turn that into motivation.

“[I was] just so helpless,” she admits. “I couldn’t even get in the bed by myself. But I kind of learned and got more comfortable, because, well, I don’t have a choice. This is just how my life is now. But I did my best to bust my butt in the areas I could.”


Because she now bears large surgical scars on her arm and leg, Lindsee says she often gets not-so-subtle looks or outright stares while in public, and the special attention she receives can be jarring, awkward, or embarrassing.

“When I was wheelchair-bound, it was like, ‘Oh, this young, pretty girl, what’s wrong with her?’” she says. “You can see it on people’s faces trying to process when we went out to dinner. I’m like, just ask, I beg you, just ask. You get the most pitiful looks. Like, please don’t look at me with pity. Because I fought like hell to stay alive and be moving again.”

Now, Lindsee acknowledges that her scars will forever be a part of her and a reminder of that time in her life—a time she is ready to share to help others.

“They were hard for me to look at for months,” she states. “Now, they remind me of what I went through, because it doesn’t feel real. It feels like a dream, until I look down at my scars and remember it was real. It happened, and I did go through it. I want to be proud to wear those scars and share my story with people.”

Moving Forward

Many people who hear her story often ask Lindsee how she feels toward the person who hit her. “If I ever got a chance to say something to them, I would want to say, ‘Well, I’m happy that at least one of us was okay,’” Lindsee says. “It could have just as easily been me. And if I were in their shoes, I would want to be forgiven. I don’t even know if they know everything that I’ve struggled with, but in the event that they do, and they don’t sleep at night the way that I don’t sleep at night, I would want them to know that I forgave them. And that I’m glad that one of us made it out.”

Instead of looking back with fear and negativity toward her accident more than a year ago, Lindsee instead sees her ordeal as a catalyst to move forward and live the best life possible. “Everybody goes through their own battles and their own trauma,” she declares. “When people say to me, ‘You just seem so happy!’ And I’m Iike, ‘Whoa, I promise you, I probably cried in the shower last night.’”

Lindsee says there are two types of ways a person can handle the type of trauma she went through: “You can roll over and subdue, to be a victim. Or you can fight like hell, to make it the best rest of your life that you can. And I chose to fight like hell, and I’m still doing it. It has completely flipped my perspective and thoughts and way of living. Clearly, I wasn’t meant to die. There’s some type of plan for me.”
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