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Kasey Barnhill | University Hospital

WATCH: Kasey Barnhill | University Hospital

Kasey Barnhill almost died in a traumatic ATV accident, suffering multiple broken ribs and vertebrae that punctured her lungs and threatened her spinal cord. After being treated by surgeons and staff at University Hospital, Kasey has made an amazing recovery.

Published Mar 19th, 2024

On Dec. 19, 2022, Kasey Barnhill was in a horrible ATV accident that almost ended her life. She had been driving with friends in the vehicle to see Christmas lights when it slid on wet pavement and then flipped, pinning her underneath.

A nearby firefighter and his wife helped free and stabilize Kasey while an ambulance sped to the scene of the accident. Kasey was transported to the Fanny Meisler Trauma Center at USA Health University Hospital, where the trauma surgery team worked to keep her alive.

Her list of injuries was long. Kasey’s top jaw was caved in, her face was torn open, six of her ribs became puzzle pieces that punctured her lungs. Her ear was torn. Six of the vertebrae in her neck and four vertebrae in her lower back were broken. One of the vertebrae was shattered and lay millimeters from her spinal cord.

“I remember being in the ER at one point. I remember asking the nurse if I was going to die,” Kasey recalled. “She didn’t answer me.”

Miraculously, Kasey survived three days of surgeries and spent two months at University Hospital, where she received care found only at level 1 trauma centers. After a year of hard work, determination, and physical therapy, Kasey has made an amazing recovery. She is not only walking, but she is back at work and living her best life with her husband, Nathan.

“South Alabama put her back together,” said her mother, Tina Novay.

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