Harli’s Story

My name is Harli Mishel White I am 17 years old, Racing is my passion. If it wasn’t for the good Lord above and all the thoughts and prayers, I wouldn’t be here today sharing my amazing story.

Racing is and has been a big part of my life. It all began when I was a little girl watching and helping my father race. I have always had the dream to be a race car driver like my dad.
When I was old enough to have a racecar of my own my dad surprised me with a 600cc restricted mini sprint in Nov. 2007 when I was 12 yrs old. I had practiced from Nov on the weekends up until the first race of the season At I-44 Speedway on April 5th 2008. It was a normal race day on Saturday but my first race ever. I was prepared but nervous at the same time.
My first race ever in a Mini Sprint in the B main event I was doing well. Going around turn 4 I barely hit the wall and my car turned over on its side. Usually track officials will turn the cars upright. But that did not happen. All of a sudden my Car burst into flames. I immediately turned off the car and tried to escape, I was trapped in the burning race car. The steering wheel would not budge and seat belt was hung up. The track used all the extinguishers they had, which did not touch the fire at all. My dad along with others was trying to get me out. At That moment I gave up and started to pray to God.
A young man by the name of Donnie Ray Crawford, who was another racer waiting in his car for the next race saw a ball of fire and ran to the accident and pulled me from the burning flames. I believe that Donnie Ray was an Angel that God sent to rescue me.
I was rushed to OU Trauma Center in OKC; there my Family and Friends came to the hospital to see me. I was very calm and really didn’t know or think I Was burned too bad. I thanked everyone for coming and ask that they pray for me. In all reality I was burned really badly. I am burned 45% deep 3 degree. I was medi flighted by Angel Flight Services to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Galveston TX. The doctors were waiting on be to arrive and went straight into surgery. I had 3 graph surgeries and 5 reconstruction surgeries. I was in the burn unit for 21 days. Most of those days on my Belly, my family and I had to stay for therapy for 3 months after getting out of the hospital. I was determined to get back to cheering, playing basketball, running track, softball and eventually racing again.
While I was in the hospital my parents were always by my side. I was never alone for a second. I know it was really tough to watch their daughter to through so much pain but they bared through it and so did my grandparents and many other family and friends. I had my 13th birthday in the hospital and received many letters and gifts from all over the world of encouragement.
I left Galveston, TX to go home in July and went back to school in August. The town of Lindsay was so supportive and always doing something for my family and I. I received many letters and other things from all over the U.S. and other countries while I was in the hospital.
When I was better and capable of racing again I asked my parents for another racecar. I begged and begged for a few months until they finally decided to let me race again, and they surprised me with a brand new racecar for Christmas in 2008. I basically told my parents that if they didn’t let me race again I was dead anyways.
I have been racing ever since in 2009 I had 4 wins, 2010 I had 9 wins, 2011 I had 7 wins, 2012 I had 2 wins.
I have had many opportunities this year in my racing career. I had the chance to drive neighbor’s coffee, 2 barrel sprint car. This year 2013 and last year I will be racing sprint cars all year round, in the 305 and the two barrel sprint car. My story was featured on the OWN Network, and I am going to be in a documentary called: Trial By Fire: Lives Reforged, which will be released in 2012.
If it wasn’t for God and Donnie Ray, and Shriners Hospital I wouldn’t be here today living my dream.

4 Responses to “Harli’s Story”

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Beyond Recognition

An intimate view of a burn survivor's life and recovery


May 2013

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