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South Carolina State Rep. Katie Arrington, the GOP candidate for Congress who beat U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in the Republican primary for his House seat in May, was released from the hospital on Friday after she was severely injured in a June car crash.
Arrington, 47, was discharged from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she held a press conference thanking the doctors and staff, her family and friends. She vowed to continue her campaign to represent the state's 1st Congressional District.
"This campaign has never stopped for me. This is hard work and perseverance to get to Washington to represent this community, this district and this nation and it hasn't stopped," she said.
The car Arrington was riding in as a passenger was hit head-on by a vehicle traveling the wrong direction. Arrington suffered a fracture in her back, several broken ribs and underwent major surgery to remove portions of her small intestine and colon. Because of the accident, the main artery in her leg also partially collapsed and required a stent. The woman who was driving Arrington, Jacqueline Goff, was also severely injured. The driver of the other car, 69-year-old Helen White, was killed.
Arrington said Goff, whose hand she grabbed to brace for impact, was her "savior" and offered condolences to the White family. She also credited her faith for being able to survive the crash, but said she knows she has a long road to full recovery.
"No facial trauma, no neurological damage and there is no reason why other than God," she said. "I may look good on the outside, but I am in a great deal of pain."
She added, "I'm going to take doctor's orders very seriously, but I don't want these injuries to prevent me from living a full energetic life."
Her physician, Dr. Avery Buchholz, said although she's going home, her recovery is not complete.
"She is doing well, she is recovering well but the reality is there is recovery to go and realistically it's going to be another month or so of her taking it easy or limiting physical activity," he said. "There is no easy path through this."