February 21, 2002 11:00 pm

By T.L. Petersen

Observer Staff Writer

Amy Daggetts world again is starting to widen.

Critically injured in a head-on collision Dec. 11 just north of Island City, the 20-year-old Elgin woman took her first steps Tuesday at the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise. She soon may be able to join her mother and father on short outings outside the hospital.

Shes doing really good, her mother, Diane Daggett, said from Amys hospital room Thursday morning.

In fact, Amy is able to talk on the phone, read and write. Shes also eating well and has regained some movement in her left leg. Were still working on her arm, though.

Daggetts internal organs were severely shaken and some torn, her arm burned, and surgery was required to repair the damage.

Within the next three weeks, Diane Daggett said doctors have indicated Amy may be able to leave the hospital for short trips, perhaps even to go as far as to a cousins home in Ontario.

She probably wont be able to come home for a visit until mid-April, though, Daggett said.

While Chris Daggett, Amys father, is back at work at Boise Cascade, Diane Daggett is staying in Boise with Amy. The family is thankful for the donations that continue to be made to a fund in Amys name at Pioneer Bank and also to all those who have reached out with cards and messages for Amy.

Shes gotten cards from people we dont even know, her mother said, marveling at the encouragement and heartfelt stories that people have shared with the family. That support, she said, is wonderful.

At Oregon State University, where Amy Daggett has been a student, a roommate has set up a Web site to keep friends updated on her progress. The site has a regular following among those on campus who knew and attended classes with the active, athletic Daggett.

Cards and letters give a positive boost to Daggett, the family says, who can now be reached at the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital, Room 204, 600 N. Robbins Road, P.O. Box 1100, Boise, Idaho 83701.

In other medical news, Judy Fletcher, who spent two months in St. Alphonsus Medical Center recovering from meningitis, has returned home.

The Enterprise kindergarten teacher arrived home Sunday. She will continue her rehabilitation in Enterprise and La Grande.

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