Q: A publisher approached you about writing Still Lolo just a few weeks after your accident. Why did you think it was a good thing to do?
A: We’re just a really open family, and we talk about things all the time and have good friends we do the same with. I feel like I had been talking about it a lot with all of them, so to talk about it in more detail, I thought would be healing.
Q: What was your goal for the book?
A: It was a good opportunity to help other people as well and encourage other people who are going through things. Even if they’re with someone who is going through something, I think it’s a good thing to read and can be helpful for them.
Q: Because there’s so much you don’t remember from the incident, the story is told by several people. Which was the most difficult chapter for you to read?
A: The second and third chapters are from my parents’ perspectives from the night of the accident, and that just hit me really hard. I also have a twin sister, and reading anything that she wrote, like any part of it, was just really difficult. It’s like a bond you can’t describe. So to picture her and the scenario she was in, it was just, like, really difficult.
Q: In the book, you talk about some of the low moments since the accident and how you lashed out at those you love most. Was it difficult to put all that out there?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think genuineness and being transparent about what I’m going through is real. I’ve always been taught to be that way. I don’t know if I could have done it a different way.
Q: The story of your accident has been in the news a lot. You’ve been on Today, and paparazzi follow you around for shots for TMZ. What did you think when you first realized how big your story was?
A: I remember my mom telling me about how things had been in the news and different publications. I would go out, and people would come up to me, and I was like, “Why are you people doing this?” I was a little surprised. It can just show how life can change in an instant.
Q: Your dad goes into great detail about the accident. He says—and you have, too—that there was no drinking involved. Did you think it was important to include those details to squash some of the rumors?
A: I think it’s always important to share the details. I think that in any scenario in life, there are going to be rumors and things like that. So, yeah, I think it’s always important to share all of that.
Q: Beyond your hand and eye loss, you also had some brain damage. How has that part of your healing been?
A: My brain doctor actually said I surpassed the healing of that. It was kind of funny because he’s a doctor, and he’s not extremely emotional, but I’d go in and he was giddy. He’d say, “I can’t believe we’re having a conversation.” From the scans of my brain, he said if he’d asked 100 neurosurgeons their thoughts about it, at least half of them would have said I’d be a vegetable in my brain, wouldn’t be able to form sentences, or I wouldn’t have my same personality. And I have all those things. So it’s a blessing.
Q: You write that everything happens for a reason. What’s the reason behind your accident?
A: I just know that God has a purpose in things that are more about the bigger picture, and oftentimes, we may not understand the reason why, even in our lives, but there’s something he’s doing that’s bigger than what we can see. So I just trust wholly in that. God has been there throughout the entire thing, and he’s been my strength. He’s deepened my faith a lot. I also have a greater compassion for people now in different ways than I would have had before, so I want to use that as well.
Q: Is it possible that one of the reasons this happened was so you could share this story with people?
A: I think it’s definitely a tool on how to share the story. It was made public for a reason, I believe. So I want to use that in all of its capacity to pour God into people’s lives.