PITTSBURGH — As many students and teachers wind down the school year, one teacher's work goes on.
After suffering a devastating injury in a bicycling mishap two years ago, Pine-Richland teacher Megan Kruth has worked day and night to return to the classroom.
Channel 11's Katherine Amenta sat down with Kruth to discuss her inspiring comeback.
“I just want to be able to do my best,” Kruth said.
Kruth has always been a competitor, but she never trained to fight for her life.
In the summer of 2013, this long-time teacher at Hance Elementary saw her world turn upside down.
The workout buff had gone for a long bike ride and was 5 miles from home when tragedy and bad luck collided.
“Apparently, I hit a lip on the bridge. I don’t remember anything after the accident,” said Kruth.
She flew over her handle bars and landed head-first.
She was wearing a helmet, but the damage was done.
Channel 11 sat down with Kruth’s neurosurgeon at Allegheny General Hospital, Dr. Khled Aziz.
“She fell on the concrete and shattered her helmet,” said Aziz.
Kruth went into the emergency room with three main problems: a blood clot on the brain, some bruising on the speech center and her brain had shifted to the side.
Aziz removed half of her skull for months so her brain could heal.
Kruth had to re-learn basic things like, brushing her teeth, using her cellphone and something most children do without a second thought.
“The first time they asked me to skip, (it didn’t go well), not at all,” said Kruth.
What she didn't have to learn again was her unwavering determination to return to the classroom.
But getting there has taken some time.
She tried to return this past January, but now the target is this August.
“I think it's going to be the toughest one for her adapting back into school, but we know she can do it,” said her father, George Kruth.
Now, as she starts a new era, Kruth says she doesn’t look at her accident like, “I’m putting this behind me." She says it’s more “part of my story.” It’s one she'll surely teach her new students.
Kruth has also been volunteering at UPMC Mercy in the traumatic brain injury unit, helping patients through the same rehab she did two years ago.
We'll stay in touch with Kruth as she prepares for her return to the classroom this fall.