Couple Hoping to Walk Again After Being Injured by Wave and Ambulance Crash on 24th Birthday Trip

After being struck by a rogue wave during a birthday celebration in Washington, Lauren Perry and Jenny Vu were involved in a crash when their ambulance blew a tire and hit a tree

Lauren Perry and Jenny Vu
Lauren Perry and Jenny Vu. Photo: GoFundMe

Lauren Perry and Jenny Vu are still on their road to recovery after being seriously injured on what was supposed to be a happy birthday trip.

The Oklahoma couple and their Irish Setter named Ivan — who did not suffer any injuries — recently decided to travel to Washington State to celebrate Perry's 24th birthday, according to NBC affiliate KFOR.

"I was so excited," Perry told the outlet, explaining that on the day of their accident they made a 2.5 hour trip to visit Ruby Beach.

During their beach day, Perry and Vu "stopped for a moment" at an area a few feet away from the shore line to take some pictures and videos, according to a GoFundMe set up to help cover their medical expenses.

However, things took a sudden turn when Perry turned around just in time "to see a huge wave coming their way," per the GoFundMe. "The girls tried to get away in time, but it was too late."

Reflecting on what was going through her mind during the scary moment, Perry told KFOR that she wanted to help Vu to safety.

"I had time to say, 'Go Jenny … run!' " Perry recalled. "I tried to push her forward just as it crashed."

The couple later found out that they were hit by a rogue wave, which is "very unpredictable" and "greater than twice the size of surrounding waves," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Lauren Perry and Jenny Vu
Lauren Perry and Jenny Vu. GoFundMe

After being struck by the wave, they were pushed "face first" into rocks below, and were also struck in the water by a driftwood tree, according to the GoFundMe.

"All I remember is just water covering my entire body, and I told myself to close my eyes and hold my breath," Vu told KFOR. "And so when I did, a giant tree hit me, and I blacked out."

Although Perry was able to get the attention of some bystanders who came to their aide, she remembers being incredibly concerned that they wouldn't make it.

"I kept screaming out, 'Is Jenny alive? Is Jenny okay?'" she told Fox affiliate KOKH.

Things then took another turn for the couple.

After being rushed to Forks Hospital, where "doctors and nurses did everything they could to stabilize" them, the couple were sent off to a second hospital in an ambulance, according to the GoFundMe.

Halfway through the trip, "the ambulance blew a tire...and crashed into a tree," per the fundraising campaign. "Lauren and Jenny were not fully strapped down correctly to the gurneys and were flung around during the accident."

"I just remember screaming this entire time because we were in so much pain at this point," Vu recalled to local CBS station KWTV.

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Upon arriving at the second hospital, Vu learned that she had 10 "fractured ribs, lacerations on her liver, internal bleeding, pulmonary contusion, a broken pelvis, and a concussion," per the GoFundMe.

Meanwhile, Perry suffered from "internal bleeding, lacerations on her liver, a broken pelvis, and [a] pulmonary contusion."

Both needed pelvis surgery.

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Although Perry and Vu have since been released from the hospital, they still have a long road to recovery in front of them.

Doctors recently told Perry she may be able to start walking again in 10-12 weeks, but doctors do not have a timeframe for when Vu — who can get the bar in her pelvis removed next month — will be able to start walking, according to KWTV.

Due to their injuries, the pair have also been unable to return to work at Tinker Air Force Base, per the GoFundMe.

The couple says the entire process has been incredibly difficult.

"It's been hard. We're 24, and we've had our home we built. We had our dogs. We had our careers we were starting," Perry told ABC affiliate KOCO. "We worked so hard to get where we were at, and it's like we don't even get to be there and enjoy it."

"It's still unreal to me," added Vu. "I feel like it's all a dream, [and] any moment we will wake up from this."

Those interested in donating to their GoFundMe can do so here.

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