Arizona girl, 14, thriving a decade after crash

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

LAKE PLEASANT, Ariz. -- It was January 2004. Inside a mangled car, little Angel Beasley lived on dog biscuits for nearly a week. Her mother's lifeless body by her side the entire time.

Doctors were in disbelief. Angel had frostbite, a head injury and nothing to eat or drink for three to five days. They called her survival a miracle.

Angel's story made headlines worldwide. News crews were there when she celebrated her fourth birthday. Now, Angel is 14 and many of her friends have no idea what she survived.

"Some of my closest friends, I do tell them, but I don't want them to like, you know, treat me like, 'Oh, poor her.' I don't want their pity or anything," she said.

She is the picture of resilience, and yet, she still has the memories of that horrific crash.

"I remember being really, really cold and looking for my dog," Angel said.

Ten years later, Angel can relive the moment she was rescued.

"I remember he gave me a whole bunch of water and I remember drinking it -- like a gallon," she said.

Probably the most bittersweet memory for her is that of her mother. Angel says her aunt tells her she looks like her mother.

"It makes me smile," Angel said.

What also makes her smile is the idea that her story of survival can inspire others.

"I think you can pretty much make it through anything, you know. I say, just take it day by day, you know. Things will get better. I mean, things happen for a reason," Angel said.

Now, Angel has sort of the opposite of a bucket list -- not a list of things to do before you die, but a list of things to do because you're alive.

On this day, that thing is gliding through the clouds in a sailplane.

"A little nervous right now, but I think its going to be fun. I'm excited," she said.

It was a ride of a lifetime for Angel, as well as pilot Gary Boggs from Northwest Sky Sports.

"Like a roller coaster ride. That's what it felt like," Angel said.

Her dad couldn't be prouder of the young lady she has become.

"I just want to give her every opportunity in the world, and she's got an adventurous spirit," said father Paul Beasley.

That spirit will no doubt soar on because Angel is determined to create many new memories like taking a hot air balloon ride and, she says, hopefully jumping out of a plane.