Verkilya Hogan

I finished my junior year in high school and everything was perfect. I thought that nothing could possibly ruin my joy. I attended my first high school prom, received my driver’s license, and made captain of the varsity cheer-squad. But then everything changed.

On May 18, 2016, I was involved in a Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) crash when I was enjoying a day out with classmates. We went to the local park in our neighborhood, and my friend and I took a spin on a UTV. I was the driver, and turned onto a deep curve that caused the utility vehicle to flip. As the UTV flipped, I threw my arm outside of the vehicle to brace my fall. I was later airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. I had no idea what to expect upon my arrival, but I knew God was in the midst the entire time. I endured approximately 7 surgeries and made the decision to amputate my left arm on May 24, 2016.

Having my arm amputated at the age of 16 was quite devastating. I had so many questions as to how I would adjust back to my daily life. How will I go into my senior year like this? How will I still be captain of the cheer squad? How will I be able to go off to college alone?

God turned my thinking of “How will I?” into “I will show you!” Although I did not understand His purpose for my life at the time, I knew without a doubt there was a purpose. My faith in Him gives me the strength to accomplish every single thing I set my mind to. I finished my senior year of high school with a 3.89 GPA and was top 10 out of 165 students. I remained captain of the varsity cheer squad and had the most fun cheering during my last year of high school. I was voted Miss Holmes County Central High School and was a member of the Senior Cabinet. I am now 19 years old and attend the University of Southern Mississippi as a sophomore. Through all of the trials I have faced, the Lord has given me strength.

I attended my first Beautifully Flawed Retreat in 2017 where I met the LSK Foundation team. They noticed my first prosthetic arm, which did not have the best looking cover. My prosthesis was bulky and the wrong skin color, but I wore it everyday like it was the best thing ever. In early 2018, I received a message from Lisa to discuss my desires of having a beautiful prosthesis. When I was accepted to receive a silicone covering through the LSK Foundation, I was overwhelmed with joy. I immediately followed Lauren on Instagram and saw so many pictures of her arm. I was so excited to know that one day I would wear an arm that looks as real and beautiful as hers.

On May 18, 2018, 2 years to the date of my accident, I received my beautiful prosthesis. I was so amazed that an artificial arm could look and feel just like my very own. In that moment, I felt grateful and blessed. I thank God for blessing this foundation, so that they could be a huge blessing to me and many other recipients. I walk around so confidently now with my new arm, and it is hard for anyone to tell which arm is artificial. I cannot express enough how I will be forever grateful for my arm and I pray that God will continue to bless this foundation.