When terrible things happen, we rely on love and support from our family and friends to get us through.
On July 30, 17-year-old Sarah Frei of Kaysville, Utah, was driving home from a fun day at Bear Lake with three of her friends. Without warning, their car was hit head-on by a drunk driver.
Since they were in a remote area of Logan Canyon, it took first responders about 45 minutes to arrive. Everyone in the car sustained serious injuries, but Sarah’s were by far the worst. She had to be airlifted to University of Utah Hospital, where she was rushed into surgery.
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The next few weeks were incredibly difficult for Sarah and her loved ones. Not only did the crash leave her paralyzed from the waist down, but they also had to remove more than 30 percent of her intestines. Later, she had to have both legs amputated at mid-thigh.
But throughout everything, Sarah kept her spirits up, largely because of the support her community gave her!
When classes began in the fall, Sarah was sad that she would miss out on all the fun milestones from her senior year at Clearfield High School. Little did she know, her friends were determined to give her an unforgettable surprise!
Even though their annual homecoming dance was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, the kindhearted teens came together to find a way to include Sarah in the celebration.
It all started when her friend Andrew appeared in her hospital room with a special “proposal.”
He spelled out his name with soda bottles and arranged for a nurse to hold up his homemade homecoming sign. Of course, Sarah was delighted and didn’t hesitate to say yes!
On the big day, hospital staff members went out of their way to give Sarah the night she deserved.
“Getting ready for the date was so much fun,” her family wrote on Instagram. “The nurses painted her nails, she did her own makeup and hair, and then her physical therapist helped get her up and into a chair.”
Then Andrew and two of her other friends stopped by to “pick her up.” While they couldn’t actually leave the hospital, they snapped some beautiful photos and brought her dinner.
Soon, they were helping her attend their own small homecoming over FaceTime! Sarah had a great time eating dinner and dancing from her seat as her friends partied at a nearby home.
“Her ‘virtual’ homecoming was something she will never forget!” her family wrote later. “Thank you to Andrew and her sweet friends for making that happen!”
Jessica Hogg, Sarah’s sister, said she’s not surprised that Sarah’s friends have responded in such a supportive way.
“This has been amazing, and it feels so natural and it feels so easy because Sarah — she just radiates light and she just gives and gives,” Jessica said. “She’s loved because she loves.”
A few days after homecoming, Sarah had her 20th surgery in just seven weeks. Her next step is rehab, which will help her leave the hospital and pick up her life where she left off. If this sweet surprise is any indication, her friends will be there to support her every step of the way!
Share this story to wish her a speedy recovery.
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