INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It was her first time behind the wheel of a go-kart. July 8, 2012 was also the beginning of a painful journey for Shelbi Crouch.
Then 19, Crouch's long locks became gripped in the spinning axle at Whiteland Raceway. Eighty percent of her scalp was ripped from her head. The teen almost died.
Ten months later, she has had four major surgeries and is prepping for her fifth.
"There are still days where I get down. There is not a day that doesn't go by that don't I look at myself in the mirror … I just have glimpses of what I used to look like and yearn for that back," Crouch said from her home.
PHOTOS | Shelbi Crouch's look forever changed
On this particular day, a bandanna matching her outfit covered her bald head.
"This is my collection of bandannas," she said, shuffling through an assortment of more than 100 colorful scarves. "As everybody knows, I like matching things perfectly together. My mom calls me a little fashionista."
The brutal force of the scalping left Shelbi with a traumatic brain injury, a skull fracture, hearing loss and other complications.
"The last thing I remember is being in the go-kart, holding onto the steering wheel and that is it," Crouch said. "I don't remember ever driving the go-kart."
Days after Shelbi's accident, an I-Team 8 investigation uncovered industry standards established in 2000 state that all rotating or heated parts of recreational go-karts should be covered. The axles at Whiteland, where Shelbi was racing, were exposed. While industry standards exist, Indiana has no law that enforces them.
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Now Shelbi and her mom plan to push lawmakers for change.
"Why is it our state that doesn't have such laws?" she said. "It is the duty of the state to make sure that each one of their citizens is safe while having fun."
Crouch said before the accident she didn't know industry standard recommendations that require facilities to secure hair and provide safety equipment.
"Since my accident, I have realized some places have videos that you watch before — real strict rules as to what you should and shouldn't do," Crouch said. "They make sure their go-karters know that, just make sure you are safe."
Her mom, Sherri Crouch-Wilson, said her daughter's injury could have been prevented.
"I don't want another mother to have to go through this. And, I don't want a person to go through what Shelbi has been through," Crouch-Wilson said.
But Shelbi hasn't been alone.
Hundreds of get well cards from friends, family and strangers adorn her bedroom walls. The cards directly above her bed form a cross.
Shelbi, now 20, still she has tough days.
"They are few and far between. They are getting there at least," she said with a smile. "Some days I will be fine and other days because of the anxiety and depression it is not always the greatest day."
Shelbi credits her faith in helping her get through those tough times.
"People coming to me and saying, ‘Shelbi you're an inspiration, your story is an inspiration.' I try to not let that go to my head. I give all the glory to God. Without him, I wouldn't be here."
Meanwhile, Shelbi's medical bills are about $500,000 and climbing. Her family has a fund set up through Chase bank for those who want to donate. There's a Facebook group for updates on Shelbi. Visit it by clicking here.
Snow that moved through Central Indiana this week has wrapped up, leaving some areas with more than 10 inches of snow.
Free bags of salt will be available to the public Saturday after snow moved through Central Indiana this week.
Police were searching for suspects early Saturday morning in connection to a burglary that occurred on the city's north side.