Patricia Beasley pulled out a small black leather purse from a multicolored gift bag. It looked like her old purse, complete with the same gold zippers.
Most importantly though, it still had a strap.
“Every time I went out, anytime I went out, I always had this black purse,” Beasley said. “On the night of the [accident] when I got my purse back, the strap was ripped off and it had been run over and like, it was not a purse I could use anymore.”
Just past midnight on June 1, Beasley and a friend, Katie Paul, were struck by a vehicle traveling east on Ash Street. Both women were rushed to the University of Missouri Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Paul passed away hours later.
Family nurse practitioner Laura Besgrove coincidentally arrived on the scene of the accident after dinner with friends.
“There wasn’t any thought of hesitation or anything,” Besgrove said. “I just jumped in and started doing CPR. It was just instinct at that point.”
Besgrove performed CPR on Beasley and warned the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital of the women’s condition. Besgrove returned to the scene the next morning and discovered the detached purse strap laying in the street. She threw the strap away, not wanting Beasley or her mother, Valerie Kostenburg, to find it and relive the trauma of the accident.
Beasley is in the process of making a full recovery. On Wednesday, she was reunited with the medical staff that saved her life — including Besgrove, who presented her with a new black purse.
“She surprised me with getting me a new purse, black with gold zippers,” Beasley said. “I love it. It’s like one of those things where somebody has a job and they go above and beyond in it.”
With her new purse slung around her shoulder, Beasley and Kostenburg had a bittersweet reunion with the medical team that took care of her during her three weeks in the ICU. Kostenburg teared up almost immediately after seeing the medical team again. Beasley, however, felt like she was meeting them for the first time.
Beasley has no memory of two weeks before the accident and three weeks after it, she said.
“For me, it was really hard because I’d heard all these things and all these names but I didn’t remember [the medical team],” Beasley said. “[Meeting them] made it better because they were able to see how much I’ve grown.”
Beasley was admitted to the hospital with two skull fractures, two brain bleeds, four fractures in her pelvis, three fractured ribs, three fractured vertebrae, a fractured wrist, two teeth knocked out and one chipped tooth. She says some days are better than others, but she’s slowly getting her life back on track.
“I’ve always been one to have a positive mindset,” she said. “This whole experience has opened my heart to forgiveness and love. I’m finding peace within myself and others.”
Beasley receives treatment at Rusk Rehabilitation Center, under the care of Dr. Claire Finkel and clinical psychologist Dr. Renee Stucky. To complete her recovery, she will receive dental implants and have the screws in her pelvis removed.
“I’m getting my adulthood back,” Beasley said.
Before her accident, Beasley wanted to be a teacher. Now, she wants to be a childhood specialist to help children in similar situations.
“I feel like I’ll be able to help and be more impactful on children’s lives when they’re in a position I was in,” Beasley said. “It’ll be more of a journey, but I’m excited for it.”