This teen cheerleader experienced one of the worst accidents of all time. A drunk driver hit her at full force, causing the amputation of both her legs. Thankfully, she’s not only back home, but stronger than ever! Read on to discover this incredible story…
A Strong Young Woman
Most would give up if they found themselves in the same situation as 17-year-old Sarah Frei from Syracuse, Utah. After a drunk driver hit her, she lost both of her legs and needed to stay in the hospital for three months, undergoing 20 surgeries. While there, the young woman needed to miss her homecoming dance, though her friends did their best to recreate it for her. Still, despite everything, Frei somehow remained optimistic in her bed at Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital in Salt Lake City.
“She made our job very easy because she wanted to work very hard every day,” said Dr. Venessa Lee, who worked extensively with Frei. “We would try to give her permission to complain or to say it’s OK to have a bad day or be grumpy, and she never complained.” Sadly, her spinal cord injury most likely won’t let Frei use prostheses, so she’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Nonetheless, the cheerleader met all bad news with a big grin. Even her parents were impressed with their daughter’s composure!
Thankfully, this was just the beginning of Frei’s story…
Coming Home To A Parade
After leaving Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital, Frei’s cheerleading squad, friends, teachers, and family had a wonderful drive-by parade for the young woman as she returned home. Car after car went by, each one with a sign of support. Many blared music while friends stuck their heads out the window and wished Frei well. “I didn’t realize how big it could be,” the teenager said. “Once we’d pass [people], they’d join in behind, holding signs.”
However, Frei’s cheerleading squad had decided to hold onto the best secret for last. They didn’t just want to give their friend a fantastic parade. The squad also wanted Frei to join them for the football game the next day. Of course, the teen said yes in a heartbeat! “The timing of her coming home that Tuesday and the game being that Wednesday, it was pretty amazing that she felt good and was able to do it,” Amy Frei, Sarah’s mother, told Good Morning America.
Heading Out Onto The Field Once Again
Despite only having a few hours to prepare, Frei did a great job when she returned to the football field for a socially-distanced cheer. When she joined her squad, Frei could not help but grin ear-to-ear and even shed a few tears of joy. “Just seeing all the crowd… my friends on the front row… and performing like old times,” the teen said afterward. Meanwhile, other friends have started a GoFundMe page that, along with the benefit concert and t-shirt sales, that will help with ongoing medical expenses, home renovations, and pay for Frei’s college. After graduating, she plans to become a teacher.
“Everyone who has helped us has been so supportive, which shows that we just have all this love that we shouldn’t take for granted and that people are always there for us, there for me,” Frei said. “I think it’s good for other people to know that they’re not alone, and that’s something that I’ve learned.”