KFOR Live Interactive Radar

Paralyzed teen issuing warning to drivers ahead of New Year’s

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BETHANY, Okla. -- A teen paralyzed after a crash has a message for drivers before you go out to celebrate New Year’s.

“In the very beginning, I wasn't going to be able to move anything below like right here,” said Kaylyn Barbour.

In May,  Kaylyn Barbour was riding in a truck with two of her friends.

Usually, she says they would never wear their seat belts while traveling down back roads.

One day, her friends buckled up but Barbour didn't.

“It rolled and threw me out the window, and if I had my seat belt on, I don`t think that would happen,” Barbour said.

She is partly paralyzed and is confined to a wheelchair.

“Some of the fractures that she had are around C5 and C6, which is an area where it controls above your shoulders,” said Tammi McMichael, pediatric nurse practitioner.

The news of not being able to move her arms was a tough loss for the 17-year-old who loves art.

“My favorite thing was to draw. I still have unfinished projects that I was working on,” Barbour said.

Now, she's taking on a new project, warning others about the dangers of not wearing a seat belt behind the wheel.

'Safe Kids Oklahoma' says nearly 55 percent of teens ages 16 to 19 were involved in crashes without a seat belt.

“To help kids learning seat belt safety because I did not have mine on, and it's part of why I'm in this situation,” said Barbour.

Fortunately, the teenager is starting to regain some of her movement.

“It is a bit of a miracle,” said McMichael.

She can now move her arms, hands and shoulders. And as super heroes cover the walls of her hospital room, she hopes she can use her power of words to save a life this holiday weekend.

“The weather is going to be bad and it will be a lot easier to lose control of your vehicles, especially if it ices or with people drinking, it's going to be a lot easier for people to lose control of the vehicle,” Barbour said.

Kaylyn’s next goal is walking across the stage next year when she graduates high school.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.