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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -
Nimco fled Ethiopia and came to the United States in 2006 looking for a better life. She visited him for the first time in over 10 years, and just 30 minutes away from getting to her dad's home in Ethiopia, a bomb exploded under her vehicle, changing her life forever.
As Nimco looks back at her life this past year, she can't help but smile knowing she is finally able to tell her story.
"To be honest, I never thought I would be alive," she said. "I did not really sleep until I came back to Minnesota."
On Jan. 17, 2013 in Ethiopia near the Somali border, Nimco was just 30 minutes from seeing her father when it happened.
"When the bomb happened, it threw me very far away so it break my spine," she said. " tried to stand up, I could not stand up, I tried to move, I could not move."
The doctors told her she'd never walk again. Nimco not only suffered a broken spine, but also numerous burns to her arms and legs. At the hospital in Ethiopia, 3 doctors from around the world treated her including, an American. Nimco says she wouldn't be alive without them.
Two months after being injured, Nimco took her first steps on March 10.
"Finally walking was like the whole world started again," she recalled.
Ten days later, her smile at the airport says it all as she flew back to Minnesota.
"I was thinking, ‘Finally, I will be home,'" she said.
In Minnesota, she spent 3 more months in the hospital recovering until she finally returned home for good in June, but every time she looks at her scars she is angry -- angry at those who did this and those who helped finance it.
"I cannot tell how much it changed my life, innocent people. The lady sitting next to me lost her leg, a 2-year-old lost his life and my uncle too died there," she said.
However, for Nimco, a woman who once thought her dreams were gone, she knows she has much to look forward to.
"When I was in the bed, I was thinking, ‘Maybe I will never become a teacher,' but now, getting my feet back, and I think, ‘One day I will become a teacher,' so that's my hope."
The road to recovery is not over for Nimco. She is expected to undergo more surgery this summer, but for now, doctors are limiting her schooling to 2 days a week. Ever hopeful, she looks forward to returning full-time as soon as possible.