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Lak Stroder defys odds after accident in Florida

by Joshua Turner | April 15, 2022 at 4:00 a.m. | Updated April 18, 2022 at 4:26 p.m.
Lak stands in front of an angel wing mural before the accident. (Photo contributed by Elaina Jones)

Update: 04-18-22 More info on fundraisers for Lak was added

Magnolia native Lakyn "Lak" Stroder, 15, was hit in an accident involving a pizza delivery truck operating for Hungry Howie's Pizza causing massive injuries.

Lak was with her friends and family on a surprise birthday trip to Okaloosa Island when the accident occurred. She and her friends were walking back from the beach.

While crossing the road at a crosswalk Lak was hit by a vehicle that was going approximately 40 miles per hour.

The impact threw Lak about 30 feet away from her original position according to, Elaina Jones, Lak's mother.

Jones is a nurse at Magnolia Regional Medical Center.

Lak was rushed to Ft. Walton and was then airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola Florida.

Lak suffered a broken left femur, pelvic fractures, a bilateral laceration of the carotid artery, a sacral fracture, liver lacerations, kidney lacerations, bruising of the lungs, concussion and a cartilage tear in her right knee.

Following surgery to repair Lak's femur, a blood clot dislodged and traveled into her brain causing her to have a stroke, resulting in damage to the right hemisphere in Lak's brain, the areas responsible for speech and cognition.

Doctors warned Lak's family that there was a 95% chance she would not be able to speak or be cognizant after the stroke.

Jones said, " I noticed a twitch and as a nurse thought something might be wrong but a friend of mine who is a pharmacist said some of the medications Lak was taking can cause that. When she was off them from 24 hours and still twitching I knew something was wrong."

Lak then had to have her skull trepanned (surgical removing of part of the skull) to help reduce swelling in her brain.

Lak had to be intubated (breathing tube) for surgery. She remained intubated to allow her lungs to heal from both the bruising and congestion she had from before the trip to Florida.

The surgeries and intubation were difficult for Jones and the family. Jones said, "Every time the doctors and nurses came in every bot of the news they gave us was devastating."

After a few days, Lak woke up and accidentally removed her intubation tube. Jones said that after removing it Lak was already communicating and trying to find out where she was and what was going on.

In an interview with the Banner News, Jones spoke about Sacred Heart Hospital and how nice it was. She mentioned it having multiple stores and shops in it and that the cafeteria was as large as the entirety of MRMC. Shae also said Lak's friends described the hospital as being boujie and that, "It is fitting that Lak is in such a boujie hospital since she is so boujie."

After Lak removed her intubation tube, Jones had to petition insurance to help get a flight to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock due to AR Children's medivac being unable to get to Pensacola without refueling.

On April 4 Lak finally made it to Arkansas Children's Hospital. She has been recovering and working on rehabilitation.

Jones told Banner News that although Lak has trouble speaking and texting, she still understands people around her and loves getting video calls, encouragement and messages from friends and family.

According to Jones the doctors currently estimate that it will be a month before Lak is able to come home to Magnolia. She will require physical and speech therapy.

Jones said she knows that between Dr. Rudder and the physical therapists at the Magnolia Regional Medical Center Multispecialty Building Lak will be in good hands when it comes to physical therapy. Jones is still looking for a speech therapist.

Jones expressed gratitude for the support they have received so far saying, "People have been amazing with support. They have been amazing with giving gifts, donations and praying for us."

The Flaming Pig food truck of Camden hosted a fundraiser at MRMC on Saturday, April 16. BBQ Sandwich plates were $10 and come with a sandwich, beans, chips, and bottled water. The proceeds went cover medical and travel expenses for Lak.

Additionally a Ride 4 Lakyn will take place starting at Nix’s Airport Liquor at 10 a.m. on Sunday 24 and particpants will ride to Arkansas Children’s Hospital to deliver donations to Lakyn.

The Magnolia Arts Center is donating a table and 4x8 at the Magnolia Blossom Festival to host Lak’s art and any fundraising the family wants to do.

In a Facebook Post the Flaming Pig thanked the following businesses for their donations.Premier Concrete

Everett Contracting

Liberty Baptist Church - Stamps

Camden Iron Metals

Magnolia Florist

Lott Consulting

Precision One Therapy & Associates


Brothers Keepers MC

Forever Dance

American Legion

Roger Scow, M.D.

Ride South Arkansas

And the many individuals who have given so graciously to help Lakyn and her family!!

The Magnolia Arts Center is donating a table and 4x8 at the Magnolia Blossom Festival to host Lak's art and any fundraising the family wants to do.

You can get daily updates on her condition on the Facebook page "Luv 4 Lak".

  photo  Lak lays intubated following surgeries. (Photo contributed by Elaina Jones)
  photo  Lak excited to open and use her new phone while she lays in her bed at Arkansas Children's Hospital. (Photo contributed by Elaina Jones)

Print Headline: Lak Stroder defys odds after accident in Florida


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