DUI victim speaks after plea bargain

Every time Lysa Chappelow takes a step, it's work.

"I still have a little pain when I walk," she said.

Each step is a message to Shawn Swarthout, the man who admitted Tuesday in court, that in November, he drove drunk, ran a light at Hercules and Cleveland streets in Clearwater and sent her flying from her electric scooter.

"I am doing really well," she said.

This was the third time Swarthout faced DUI charges.

At the plea hearing, Lysa got her chance to talk to him.

Back when she was still in the hospital, he gave our cameras the finger when we asked what he had to say to her.

"There is more to the crash than my physical injuries," Chappelow said in court. "You could never understand the ways I feel traumatized."

Swarthout remained stone-faced, even after hearing her say his drunk driving left her with broken bones, a brain bleed, a, feeding tube, months of rehab and $150,000 in medical bills that her insurance won't cover.

"Any normal human being would have at least attempted to say he was sorry," she said. "But there was nothing."

Prosecutors and Swarthout agreed on five years in jail, half of what he faced at trial.

But Chappelow says guaranteed time behind bars is worth it, as a means of prevention.

"I don't want him to do it again, because the next time it happens, that person may not be as lucky as I was."

Chappelow is back to work.

Life with her children is fun again.

"You're not going to take me down," she said. "You're not going to change the person I am."

She's going to become a speaker for anti-drunk driving groups.

"I survived for a reason, and I am pretty sure that's what the reason is."

Chappelow’s family expected her to be a wheelchair for a year. It was only three months.