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Teen shares story of lost limbs after crash, electric shock

A western Quebec woman who lost her arms and legs after crashing into a hydro pole last Christmas Eve says she's optimistic about the future, and even has plans to start a family with someone she met in rehabilitation.

Sabryna Mongeon's arms, legs were amputated after colliding with hydro pole

Sabryna Mongeon's arms and legs were amputated following a collision with a hydro pole in December 2017. The 19-year-old is still recovering. (Toni Choueiri/Radio-Canada)

A western Quebec woman who lost her arms and legs after crashing into a hydro pole last Christmas Eve says she's hoping to return to school and start a family with someone she met in rehabilitation.

Sabryna Mongeon, 19, suffered a severe electric shock in the crash, and then spent hours in the cold before she was rescued.

"I honestly believe that God gives a test to someone so that they overcome it," Mongeon told Radio-Canada in a French-language interview Wednesday from her father's home in Laval, Que.

"Even during the accident, it was never an option to let me die. It never crossed my mind. I was in survival mode."

Sabryna Mongeon re-learns how to walk

4 years ago
Duration 0:33
Sabryna Mongeon, whose arms and legs were amputated following a collision with a hydro pole in December 2017, is learning to walk again with prosthetics. 0:33

14,500 volts

On Dec. 24, 2017, Mongeon left her mother's home in Luskville, Que., to visit a friend in Gatineau, taking a less congested route because of the bad weather.

After the crash, her sister Samantha told The Canadian Press the hydro pole landed on Mongeon's vehicle.

When she stepped outside, "an electrical charge of 14,500 volts" entered through her hands, coursed through her body and exited through her feet.

She remained conscious for four hours and tried to get back into her car, her sister said, but wasn't able to start it to get some heat.

Eventually a passerby offered help.

Mongeon was taken to hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. 

On Dec. 27, after being woken up, she decided to have her arms and legs amputated.

Samantha Mongeon posted this photo of herself and her sister Sabryna in hospital following the Christmas Eve crash. (Samantha Mongeon/Facebook)

Long recovery

Mongeon spoke with Radio-Canada Wednesday after being discharged from the Gingras-Lindsay-de-Montréal Rehabilitation Institute, where she had been recovering.

Adapting to life with artificial limbs has been difficult at times, she said.

"With the hot days we had this summer, it's harder with prosthetics. It's not always comfortable," she said. "My left leg hurts. That's one of the reasons why I use crutches to walk."

She has plans to return to school in the near future to become a naturopath and also hopes to become a public speaker.

She also said she's planning to start a family with her boyfriend, a Canadian Armed Forces member she met in rehabilitation after an autoimmune disease caused him to lose the use of his legs for six months.

Mongeon said her family is also building a special home for her, using money from a crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $200,000.

Land has already been purchased in Laval so she can stay close to the rehabilitation facility, she said.

With files from Florence Ngué-No

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