Carly Lane
May 29, 2015 6:00 am

It takes a very strong individual to come back from a trial that not only tests their emotional limit, but their physical ones, too — especially when such a trial happens more than once!

That’s why 22-year-old Kellie Mencel from Australia officially wins the award for our Queen of the Day today. She suffered through not just one, but two, harrowing accidents several years ago and has emerged on the other side stronger than ever before — but it definitely took some time for her to get there.

In 2009, when she was 17, Kellie was involved in a serious car accident. She fell asleep at the wheel while driving around 60 mph, which caused the car to spin off the road and then flip a total of five times. When she woke up, she was trapped inside the car and had to wait to be found. After a week of recovery in the hospital, her family decided to take her for a trip to their cabin to give her a chance to continue to rest and move past the trauma of her accident. While they were there, the family boat exploded (yes, exploded) and caught fire as Kellie was trying to start it. She was able to jump into the water but suffered severe burns on her face and body.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Kellie said the worst part about her accident was the road to recovery. “People were telling me I was a miracle and a strong person. So I tried to act like a strong person, but deep down I was dealing with PTSD, depression and anxiety. It was a year or so after that I actually let myself go, I let myself be upset and stopped being this ‘strong person’ everyone perceived.”

It took several years for Kellie to completely recover from her accident — and it wasn’t easy for others to understand what had happened to her, especially after she went back to school. “I had no eyebrows and my skin was still very raw. I got looks from people who didn’t know what happened because I was wearing compression bandages, gloves, a hat, and carrying an umbrella.”

But Kellie credits her family with helping her get through the arduous recovery period and exercises she’s had to do to get better. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle lifted her spirits in a big way. Now, at 22, Kellie is studying fitness and nutrition in the hopes of becoming a personal trainer one day. She says she was inspired by the methods that allowed her to make a full recovery from the trauma she experienced.

“Living a healthy and active lifestyle is what helped me get through all this. Exercise is the most effective anti-depressant but the least used! The most rewarding thing in the world for me is helping people achieve there goals, release all those endorphins and to feel good about themselves! It’s what I love and am so passionate about!” she told BuzzFeed.

On Instagram, Kellie’s feed radiates with positivity and good energy — including amazing selfies and quotes that inspire her. Of course, Kellie’s own story will probably always be the most inspiring thing on her feed — you have to admit, it’s a tough one to top. We know we’re inspired by this amazing, strong human.

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