Second chance at magic

Krystal Allen dances with her boyfriend Derek Saiz during a “second prom” Thursday at the Holiday Inn. The 2003 Clovis High graduate missed her prom because of injuries suffered when she was hit by a vehicle. Photo by Rick White.

By Darrell Todd Maurina

Krystal Allen traded in her crutches for a dancing partner Thursday night, helping her erase the painful — literally — memory of missing her senior prom.
“It probably was better than the real prom would have been because I felt not ashamed to dance,” Allen said. “I don’t like to be judged (in dancing), but it was really nice, it felt like I was floating.”
Dancing was about the last thing on Allen’s mind the night of the Clovis High School prom. After being hit by a car in front of the high school, Allen spent prom night in the intensive care unit of Covenant Hospital in Lubbock with serious injuries to her legs.
After learning about the crash, Duffy Moon of Mix 107.5 FM radio coordinated a replacement prom with community donations, helping Allen invite 10 of her friends and their dates to the Thursday evening event at the Holiday Inn.
Even though she is off crutches, Allen has a permanent steel rod in her left leg and is getting used to walking again.
“It just depends on how I feel from day to day,” Allen said. “It hurts in places where you can feel the rod against the skin but I can stand the pain.”
Allen said she had been practicing dancing with her boyfriend, Derek Saiz.
“He was really happy to see me there dancing with him,” Allen said. “I was really lucky that I could dance with my boyfriend and I even invited his mom because she was not able to go to the prom at Clovis.”
Saiz said he has watched his girlfriend’s progress since the crash and was happy to see her able to dance.
“I watched her as she got better and better and better,” Saiz said. “At first she couldn’t get around at all, then she went from two crutches to one, then began walking without crutches, then we danced without crutches so she could learn.”
“Everything was awesome and it made a big, big, big memory for me, it’s going to be one of the biggest memories of my life,” Saiz said.
Allen said she was able to spend most of the night dancing and got home an hour later than she had planned.
“It was okay to begin with but after a while it began to hurt and I set down and it stopped hurting after a while,” Allen said.
Allen said she has progressed to the point that she no longer is using her crutches.
“I don’t know where they are, they may be at my boyfriend’s house,” Allen said.
Allen hopes to be fully able to walk by the time she goes to college this fall. She plans to study physical therapy at Eastern New Mexico University and said her injury experiences may help her relate to her future patients.
“I know that I have to push them to be able to get them to work their muscles a little bit more, but I know I need to be sympathetic because it does hurt,” said Allen.