Victim Tribute

Phaedra Marriott-Olsen
Phaedra A. Marriott-Olsen
Crash occurred: 4-10-1995

Phaedra Marriott-Olsen, of Russellville, was 22 years old when she was hit head on by a drunk driver while traveling home. She spent four months in a Columbia hospital where she struggled to overcome the near-fatal injuries inflicted upon her by another person's decision to drink and drive.

Not only did Phaedra struggle with extreme internal injuries, but for more than five weeks she was placed on a respirator that had to breathe for her. The day the respirator was removed, Phaedra literally had to learn to breathe on her own. She defines this as her greatest accomplishment.

Phaedra's son was four years old at the time of the crash. Because she was in the hospital for such a long period of time, someone else had to take over as caretaker for her son. "Someone else bought his first school supplies for Kindergarten. Someone else picked out his clothes for the first day of school. Someone else watched as he got on the school bus for the first time," Phaedra siad.

Phaedra, who uses a wheelchair because of her crash, shares her story with people all over the state in an effort to make sure there are no more victims. Her resilience in the face of her injuries is an inspiration to us all.

© 2010, Missourians Promoting Safe and Sober Driving Foundation