Inlander delivery driver Lexi Alfonso is recovering from a serious car accident; friend launches GoFundMe to help | Columns & Letters | Spokane | Interior of the Pacific Northwest


Click to enlarge

Courtesy of Lexi Alfonso

Alfonso and his beloved dog, Frankie (shown together before the accident), who was in the car when the accident happened but was not injured.

IIt all happened in an instant. On the way back to Spokane from Post Falls to pick up more packages from the inside Number of the week for the restaurant to deliver to the area, Lexi Alfonso hit a patch of black ice while merging onto I-90. She lost control of her 2006 Toyota Tundra and rammed into traffic she was trying to merge into, colliding head-on with a dump truck.

Luckily, however, luck was on Alfonso’s side and she should make a full recovery.

Doctors told her she was incredibly lucky to survive the accident, which left her with a fracture in her upper neck called a “hangman’s fracture”. After seven and a half hours of surgery, Alfonso’s surgeon told her she was “a walking miracle”.

Her doctors believe she survived the injury in part thanks to her regular yoga practice, which strengthened her neck muscles. At the time of impact, Alfonso had also reached out to grab her dog, Frankie, and the position she was in might have avoided more serious injury or death, she said.

“I had one hand on the wheel, and between yoga and saving [Frankie’s] life, it saved my life,” says Alfonso. “Most people don’t survive this break.”

Click to enlarge Alfonso shared this post-op x-ray showing where his neck was injured in the crash.  - COURTESY OF LEXI ALFONSO

Courtesy of Lexi Alfonso

Alfonso shared this post-op x-ray showing where his neck was injured in the accident.

Additionally, Alfonso was up and walking the day after the surgery and was cleared to return home five days later.

“I’m very lucky with this injury because most people are paralyzed and can’t walk, but I can move my extremities and I get up and move,” she says. “I’m going to wear a neck brace for three months and it will take me about a year to fully recover, but I’m very lucky.”

Alfonso was a self-employed delivery driver for the Interior for two and a half years, making weekly trips through northern Idaho and the Palouse. Our head of broadcast Frank DeCaro considers Alfonso one of the stars of the team, but Alfonso has no plans to reprise the role. This has been a side job to her full-time job as a counselor at a young adult transition program in Coeur d’Alene called Northwest College Support.

Supervisors there have told her that her job awaits her when she can return, but in the meantime she is racking up medical bills (even with health insurance) and regular living expenses. Because of this, a close friend set up a GoFundMe account for Alfonso, hoping to raise $20,000 to help with these expenses until she can return to work, and so that she could possibly buy a new car.

“One thing I’ve told people is the gift in all of this,” Alfonso says. “You never know what each day is going to hold for you, and the fact that I was so lucky in such a terrible thing. The way it brought the people in my life together and the strangers I met is that second gift and a whole new perspective.

If you would like to contribute, go to gofund.me/4dcb6d2f or search for “Support for Lexi and Frankie”. (Frankie is Lexi’s beloved dog, who was in the car at the time of the crash and was uninjured.)
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