'It felt unreal': Teen survivor describes deadly church bus crash
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - One of the students on the ill-fated Mount Zion Baptist Church bus is sharing her story.
17-year-old Aidan Mills had saved a year's worth of babysitting money to go to Botswana to teach Vacation Bible School. She knows now the lessons she spent months preparing to teach would not be the only ones taught.
Mills lost most of her vision instantly in the wreck. It returned five hours later but then got worse over the week.
Mills has improved a lot from when she was knocked unconscious a week ago. But the remnants of the wreck were still on her face, head and arm when she went to the eye doctor.
"When I did come to, I was in between seats. The bus was completely upside down. I couldn't see so I couldn't get out, and someone found me and I told them I couldn't see," she said. "I knew I hit my head. I could feel I hit my head. I was worried."
Everything that was in the median ended up in the bus, including glass and dirt.
"Waking up when we woke up, it felt unreal, like a dramatic scene from a movie," said Mills.
Her friends found her laying there and carried her. She said that's when angels appeared - random passersby on the scene and at the hospital - just there to offer comfort and a prayer.
For all that and more, she is very grateful, and the well wishes continue to arrive at home.
Mills is definitely counting her blessings and missing her sweet friend, Sarah Harmening. Right now it feels empty because she's not there.
And while still grieving, she firmly believes the youth group was never meant to go to Africa.
"It seems like our mission wasn't over there. It was here," she said.
A new purpose, a new mission, a new vision for her future, coming clearer by the day
Mills was hospitalized as a 4-year-old and never forgot what her parents didn't have in that emergency. When she turned 12, she began making these anchor bags, toiletries and necessities for parents who suddenly find themselves without. She has a whole closet set up to make them.
She's already put together more than 1,000 bags for parents at Huntsville Hospital. She even has a Facebook page for what she calls "13:13 Project"
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