She’s the picture of poise and inner strength.
Pretty Texas model Lauren Scruggs was spied leaving a Dallas rehab center Tuesday — the first photo of the 23-year-old since she lost an eye and a hand after walking into a whirling airplane propeller.
Scruggs, editor of the online fashion magazine LOLO, looked upbeat as she walked without aid surrounded by her loving family.
Only a baseball cap worn low over an eye patch and a dangling left sleeve covering her arm were reminders of the agonizing ordeal she has endured since the horrific Dec. 3 accident at a Texas airport.
The pictures of the courageous blonde leaving the hospital prompted E! host Giuliana Rancic, who has battled cancer, to send Scruggs words of encouragement on Twitter.
“Inspired by you@LaurenScruggs,’’ Rancic tweeted Wednesday evening. “You will come out of this stronger w/more meaning to ur life. Your spirit is inspiring. Praying for u:)”
Scruggs tweeted her thanks. “I really appreciate it,’’ she wrote. “I believe your sweet words. Hope you are doing well too:D’’
The model has said her faith has helped her get through, and on Sunday tweeted that “The Lord is the purpose for life, and that has kept me strong in this!”
The nightmare began when she stepped off a two-seater aircraft in McKinney, Texas, after taking a flight to see an aerial view of Christmas lights.
The pilot of the plane said he warned her about staying away from the propeller, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Administration.
The pilot, who is not identified in the report, said that as she started to leave the plane, he “leaned out of his seat and placed his right hand and arm in front of her to divert her away from the front of the airplane and the propeller.’’
“He continued to keep his arm extended and told the passenger that she should walk behind the airplane,’’ the report said.
When he saw she was “at least beyond where the strut was attached to the wing, and walking away,’’ he got back in his normal seat position and waited for the next person scheduled to take the flight.
“The pilot then heard someone yell, ‘STOP, STOP’ and he immediately shut down the engine and saw the passenger lying in front of the airplane,’’ the report said.
Last week, her daughter had her “first meeting with the prosthetic arm [people],’’ Cheryl Scruggs wrote online. “We all came out speechless and exhausted, but also encouraged and hopeful.’’
Yet it continues to be a rough road for the family.
“I’m burdened for my sweet girl,’’ the mom wrote Wednesday. “It’s hard to hear her tears.”
By RITA DELFINER