Bailey Wind was a senior in high school when she was seriously injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver. Today, she shares her story to inspire others to stay safe behind the wheel and live life to the fullest.
A competitive diver headed for the University of Tennessee, Wind and her friends were coming home from a basketball game when a driver who was drinking, speeding and texting caused the horrific crash. Bailey broke several bones, suffered brain damage and lost her front teeth, among other injuries. Her boyfriend, Chris, and best friend, Deanna, did not survive.
A new outlook
After four years of intense physical and emotional healing, Wind says the tragedy has changed her outlook on her life and relationships.
“I didn’t realize how precious life was; something can happen in a second and you or someone you love could be gone,” she says. “And by the actions of someone else, I learned I have to make the right decisions every single day.”
Wind shares these lessons by speaking to teens and parents about her experience. In addition to imploring them not to drink, do drugs or text and drive, she inspires her audiences to appreciate their lives and loved ones every day, and to make the right choices to protect themselves and others.
“You don’t know how your actions are going to affect yourself, your family, your friends or somebody else’s family and friends,” she explains.
Wind has told her story at more than 30 high schools. She also wrote a book to honor her friends titled “Save Me a Spot in Heaven,” an endeavor she says was “very healing.”
Wind graduated from college in May, and plans to stay in Knoxville while figuring out her next steps. While deciding on a career path, she’ll continue to be an inspiration to others by sharing her incredible outlook on life.
“I look at everything as a blessing and want people to live life to the fullest,” she says. “You never know when your last day is going to be, so there’s no point in wasting it.”