‘She’s just so strong’: Archdale community gathers to pray for woman recovering after crash


ARCHDALE, N.C. — It’s an outpouring of love for 21-year-old Taylor Smith’s recovery.

“Our family is very strong in our faith that we just keep praying for a miracle,” said her aunt Tanya Gibson.  

Around 100 people lit candles, shared memories and gathered in prayer at Creekside Park in Archdale.  

“We want her someday to swim again,” she said. “All the things she was doing before she was involved in that wreck.” 

Gibson will never forget getting the call that Smith was involved in a car accident. A driver on N.C. 109 in Thomasville crossed the center line and hit Smith. Her car ruined and her life in jeopardy.  

“It was the worst day of my life,” said Gibson. “It’s going to be hard because she’s different. Her life will be different.” 

Some prayers have already been answered. After 12 days on a ventilator, Smith is now able to breathe on her own and talk while being treated at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. She even asked for ice cream.  

“I couldn’t believe it, but I can because I know she’s just so strong,” said her mentor and former swim coach Alex Laughlin. 

As a swim instructor, Smith’s kindness guided many through challenges, a gift the community is giving back.  

“Our swim team kids and families reaching out and wondering about her because they adore her,” said Laughlin. “It’s going to be a long hard journey and I hope that this support continue,” she added. 

A GoFundMe is set up to help cover Smith’s medical expenses.

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