WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
On February 27th 2003, the Marti family (Shawn, Natalie, and their daughter Sage) were traveling home on the freeway when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver at 98 mph traveling down the wrong side of the freeway.
The combined impact of the Marti's Camry with his Chevy truck instantly killed Shawn and Sage and left Natalie severely injured and clinging to life. Unconscious at the scene of the crash, Natalie was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit and there fell into a coma due to the traumatic brain injury she had received.
Her other injuries were extensive: neck broken in three places, broken left arm, broken right hand, broken nose, broken rib, bruising on her lungs, liver, kidney, and bladder.
Natalie Marti, Executive Director
THE CRASH RESULTING FROM THE DRUNK DRIVER'S ACTIONS DIDN'T JUST TEAR APART MY CAR-IT TORE APART MY HUSBAND, MY DAUGHTER, MY BODY, MY MIND, MY HEART, AND MY SOUL.
For three weeks Natalie's fate remained unknown as she lay in a coma struggling to breathe on her own. Her family had to prepare and attend the funeral of Shawn and Sage, still unaware of what Natalie's fate would be. Friends and family visited Natalie everyday in the hospital, many torn in what they hoped was the outcome. Some hoping she would pass away to be reunited with her family, others hoping she would survive to lessen their pain of this tragedy. Against all odds-Natalie survived!
Since her recovery, Natalie began speaking to groups to tell them her experience and soon realized the impact of her story. She spoke to victim impact panels, driver's education classes, youth group conferences, church groups, Idaho State Police trainees, and Idaho Department of Corrections inmates. Since 2004, Natalie has spoken to groups in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, California, and Nebraska.