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The power of a mother’s love: Mercer woman’s recovery from traumatic brain injury inspired by her daughter

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT
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MERCER, N.D. – Shauntaye Kopecky always wanted to be a mom. Seven months ago, her dream came true.

But her journey to motherhood has not been easy.

When she was eight months pregnant, Kopecky suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash.

But the good news is, she is getting better every day, and defying the odds.

Seven-month-old Oaklynn is a happy baby. She’s started eating baby food, starting to roll and she loves her mom.

“She’s a little gift from God,” said Oaklynn’s grandmother, Michelle Kurle.

Kurle says this sweet baby saved her daughter’s life.

“It’s just a miracle. Every day is a blessing,” she said.

On December 16, 2020, Kopecky was in a serious car crash. She spent months in a Bismarck hospital and then five months at Craig Hospital in Denver.

“Every day she progressed,” her mom recalled, “they always said she was the golden patient.”

Kopecky continues physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy seven days a week.

“She doesn’t really have an off day,” Kurle said, “she had to learn how to speak, swallow, blink her eyes and now she stands up with very little help.”

Her motivation is pretty simple. She wants to get better for her daughter.

“What do you love about being a mom?” asked reporter Jody Kerzman.

“Everything!” responded Kopecky with a smile.

She gets that love of motherhood from her own mom, who says her faith has kept her going.

“I knew that she was going to recover and that it was going to take a long time. I never gave up on her,” said Kurle.

Proof of the power of a mother’s love.

Kopecky travels to Bismarck three times a week for therapy. On the other days, therapists come to their home near Mercer to work with her.

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