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Victoria native who crashed plane out of hospitals, expects full recovery

By JR Ortega
Sept. 18, 2010 at 4:18 a.m.

Court Koenning

HIGHLIGHTS OF COURT KOENNING'S CAREER Owns a public relations and marketing consulting firm in Houston.

Former special adviser to former Texas Attorney General John Cornyn.

Former executive director of Harris County Republican Party.

Former chief of staff for Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

Served on U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's first campaign.

A graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station.

HUMBLE - Victoria native Court Koenning is a current day miracle - at least that is what his family is saying about the 37-year-old who survived a nose-dive plane crash in late August.

"I'm incredibly blessed," Koenning said while recuperating at home last week. "Not many people are blessed enough to survive a plane crash."

Koenning had been making the last leg of a flight from West Houston to Porter in southeastern Montgomery County.

When he attempted to land, his aircraft bounced and he nose-dived into a nearby subdivision.

Koenning does not remember the crash, he said.

He spent three weeks in the hospital as doctors tried to stabilize him for facial reconstruction and rehabilitation.

At the time of the interview, court had nine plates and nine screws in his face, said his wife, Dawn, who stayed with her husband in the hospital.

"It's surreal," she said about the accident and his speedy recovery. "The only thing is we need his strength back up."

His wife brought dental records to the plastic surgeon for the reconstruction.

Considering most of his facial bones were crushed, the surgery was successful, she said.

"Court looks like he did before," she said.

When news of her husband's crash and hospitalization set in, her next worry was telling their two sons, Carson, 4 and Cade, 1, she said.

She spoke with a child life specialist at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center.

The two talked about the couple's oldest son's personality and came up with the best way to tell him - by showing him.

Carson had to see that his father was alive, his mother said.

For days, Carson was having trouble sleeping and was being asked by other students at school if his dad died in a plane crash, his mother added.

"He was able to see with his own eyes that frankly, his daddy didn't die," she said. "That made all the difference in the world. It was a very special time."

The family has been told that Court is on his way to make a full recovery. His doctor's were unavailable for comment.

The family is no longer taking life for granted and is living every minute like it's their last, his wife said.

"My husband survived a plane crash," she said in disbelief. "We are so blessed to be able to continue our life together. We appreciate the reality that it all could have been gone that night."

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