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Kalamazoo bus driver who lost leg in crash ‘grateful to still be here’

La Shon Diallo was working overtime at her long-time job as a Kalamazoo Metro Transit bus driver to earn extra money for a new roof on her home. She remembers the traffic light turning green. Then she remembers waking up in the hospital.

La Shon, 47, was seriously injured when a suspected drunken driver traveling over 100 mph struck the bus. She sustained multiple injuries in the May 24 crash, and her right leg was amputated above the knee. La Shon was cared for at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and Select Specialty Hospital in Battle Creek before coming to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation on July 12.

During her seven-week stay at Mary Free Bed, La Shon worked diligently in physical, occupational and recreational therapy to gain strength, balance and independence. She developed strong relationships with her therapists and with her prosthetics team, who donned gym shorts – La Shon’s favorite attire for working out in therapy – to help her feel more comfortable the first time she tried on her new leg.

“Before, I was afraid to sit up in bed,” La Shon said. “And now I’m walking – up a hill.”

La Shon, who graduated Aug. 25 from the inpatient Amputee Program and will continue outpatient therapy, said she’s learned to trust people since her accident.

“And you need to trust yourself,” she said. “I think I’m going to be OK.”

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