Getting back on her feet

After+starting+the+school+year+in+a+wheelchair%2C+senior+Sadie+Walker+is+walking+on+her+own.+She+suffered+life-threatening+injuries+when+she+was+struck+by+a+car+this+summer.

Joseph Anderson

After starting the school year in a wheelchair, senior Sadie Walker is walking on her own. She suffered life-threatening injuries when she was struck by a car this summer.

By Kate Rettig

I just remember my mom screaming when that car was coming.”

— Sadie Walker, senior

Senior Mersadie “Sadie” Walker and her mother were driving along East 1900 Road on June 19 when they pulled over for two box turtles making their way across the street.

Having a love for animals, they stopped to help the turtles across the road.

In the process of picking up the second turtle, Walker was struck by a 2014 Chevy Cruze. The turtle flew out of her hands, and she was immediately rushed to the emergency room.

“I remember everything up to the moment of getting hit,” Walker said. “I don’t remember seeing a car. I don’t even remember the feeling of getting hit. I just remember my mom screaming when that car was coming.”

In Overland Park Regional Hospital, doctors quickly found that she had broken her pelvis in two places. They also discovered her torn aorta, the main artery in the human body that distributes oxygenated blood.

Emergency surgery was called upon to correct her torn aorta. According to MedicineNet.com, the morality rate during this procedure is 80 percent.

“We didn’t know if she was going to make it through that surgery,” her sister Megan Walker said. “She was in surgery for six hours. They actually lost her on the table for 30 minutes. It was very scary. We obviously didn’t know about it when the surgeon told us they lost her. It was a heart-dropping moment. We were imagining what life was like without her. Then they told us she survived the accident. We were overjoyed with that, and then we had to think how we were going to help her recover with that.”

The first days out of surgery were rough for the family. Calls went out extended family and friends to inform them of the accident.

“It was a shock at first,” junior Catherin Manry said. “I was really sad. I couldn’t go see her because I didn’t know where she was. It was scary though.”

The accident hasn’t stop Walker from loving animals. She said that at least one turtle made it across the road safely.

Walker has had a deep love for animals for as long as she can remember. She volunteered for three years at the local Humane Society, helping with walking and grooming the animals. Walker has plans to return to volunteering this spring.

“I was kind of shocked but then again, I could believe it because she’s saving a turtle,” junior Philip Dodson, friend of Sadie Walker, said. “She’s really sweet, and she cares for everyone she knows.”

Due to her broken pelvis Walker couldn’t handle more than 30 pounds of pressure on her feet.

“My recovery involved a lot of physical therapy,” Walker said. “I was in a wheelchair for awhile at the very beginning in school. I’m in a walker at home and crutches at school. Now I’m kind of walking.”

During physical therapy, Walker had to relearn how to walk. She sometimes has moments when she wants to give up but said she hates using a walker.

“I’ve always told her she can’t give up,” Megan Walker said. “A part of recovery is thinking that you can’t do it. But I’ve just kept telling her she can do it and never trying to let her have the easy way.”