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MAUMELLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- Sweet laughter from her son Jacob is something Lina Sharp does not take for granted.

Three years ago in November 2009 a distracted driver crashed into her vehicle while she was at a stop sign in Cabot.

Sharp says, "I thought, 'I just want to make sure he's OK. Because this was a pretty tough impact!'"

The other driver and some witnesses came to check on Lina and Jacob-who was just one year old at the time.

Sharp says, "They kept saying, 'I'm really really sorry! I didn't see you because I was texting! I didn't realize that you were at a stop. I didn't see you because I was on my phone. I'm so sorry!"

Hospital staff told Lina Jacob's car seat saved his life.

"The impact --it forced my neck to basically snap. And some of the vertebrates had collapsed on each other. "

Lina spent 4 days in intensive care waiting for her first surgery. Her husband "H" -- right there beside her.

"H" says, "When a doctor comes out of emergency surgery and tells you we've got a problem, you think the worst. He said she's going to have to come back in and have another surgery."

Lina says, "My C2 through C7 vertebrates were all repaired and I had rods put in my neck and I was told that I would never be able to look up or down again. Never be able to turn my head again."

Lina was out of work for 6 months with a hard neck brace, then soft neck brace.
The doctors told her she couldn't lift anything heavier than 2 pounds. And with a one year old, that was difficult.

But she was determined to heal quickly, return to work, enjoy time with her husband and son.

The other driver, Lina says, was not punished enough.
Sharp says, "She was cited for careless and prohibited driving. That was it. Nothing happened to her. I got stuck with all of the medical bills."

Those bills and weekly physical therapy slowed Lina down but she says, "It's been my family's support. A wonderful husband and a little boy that kept my spirits up the whole time."

Tuesday, the Sharps enjoy a relaxed morning at home in Maumelle and Jacob puts on a show for the camera as they hug.

A picture that's priceless for all three of them.

"When you're on your phone? Whether you're talking on it, or texting on it. It takes ONE second. To not see what's going on in front of you...Things happen for a reason and maybe it was so that I could be here to tell what happened to other people to let them see that in one second anything can change."

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