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Mom who recovered from horrific car crash goes on to complete marathon

Erica Baggett
Posted at 11:52 AM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 15:35:41-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For the last 3.5 years, one mother's journey has been nothing short of amazing. An incredible new milestone has just been reached. She now shares her story in the hope it can inspire someone else.

"Hold on tight! Three, two, one... blast off!" Erica Baggett said, giving her son a big push on the swing.

When you see Baggett out at the park or in the many family pictures around her home, you'd have no idea what she's lived through.

"It crossed my mind a lot," said Baggett. "Do people know what happened to me?"

It was October 2018. Baggett, husband Josh, and their then-18-month-old son Hall hit the road heading for an Ole Miss football game. She doesn't remember what happened next, or the next 10 weeks at all. Her first memories are at the Shepherd Center hospital in Atlanta.

What happened in October 2018 on the road to Ole Miss?

Erica Baggett said Hall was crying in the backseat.

"I took off my seat belt, and I was getting from the passenger seat to the backseat just to comfort him," said Erica Baggett. "In those 10 seconds, we were hit by an 18-wheeler. I went through the car and landed in the median. I was, like, gasping for air on the side of the road."

"It was almost like a war scene or something from a very graphic movie that you go, 'that can't be real,'" Josh Baggett said. "They were being blunt with us and just saying, 'Hey, prepare to take care of your wife the rest of her life. The things you would be lucky to see is her being able to shower by herself.' I should have known better just knowing her."

In the long months of Erica Baggett's journey, there was always an inspiration.

"You never know what someone's going through," said Janet Haselton.

In the span of 10 years, Haselton has been diagnosed with cancer three times. Haselton is Baggett's mom.

"It's just having faith that's gotten me through all this," said Haselton. "It's devastating, but just the way that I think and I am, I did not want to sit in that corner and just die. I've got to start living. I've got to beat this."

"If my mom can be strong and be brave, I can too," said Baggett.

That inspiration helped get Baggett here. She's spent hours each day running in her neighborhood.

"Every milestone, she just absolutely crushed it," said Josh Baggett. "We're talking about someone who had to relearn how to walk and talk again. She had to reteach herself how to put one foot in front of the other."

For the past several months, Erica Baggett has been training.

"I feel good!" she said, arriving at the St. Jude Rock 'N' Roll Marathon. "I'm nervous, but I've been training for years to do this. It's a long way to run. Twenty-six miles. I think I can."

"What are you going to do when mommy crosses the finish line? Are you going to cheer for her?" Haselton asked Hall, sitting at the finish line. Hall nodded.

"See her! There's mommy! She's finishing! See her?!" Josh Baggett shouted, watching Erica run across the finish line.

"Erica, oh! Wow! You did it!" Haselton said, running over to give her daughter a hug.

This article was written by Forrest Sanders for WTVF.