Three months ago, Sarah Frei’s life changed forever — but you won’t hear her complaining.
The 17-year-old’s optimism never fails to amaze her loved ones, especially considering everything she’s been through. Earlier this year, she was cheerleading at Clearfield High School. Now, she’s adjusting to life in a wheelchair.
Hit by a drunk driver on the way home from Utah’s Bear Lake in July, Sarah was paralyzed from the waist down and had both legs amputated. She has since undergone 20 surgeries and spent the last few months in the hospital, where her positive attitude has amazed her doctors too!
Sarah has channeled all her energy into physical therapy sessions, meeting every challenge and setback with strength and a smile.
“We really are just in awe of her,” her mom Amy told GMA. “The first time she was able to sit up and she could actually see and feel her legs, there were no tears. The first thing she said was, ‘They did a good job.'”
Her source of strength? A seemingly bottomless well of support from her family and friends!
Back in September, her school friends threw a virtual homecoming in her hospital room so the high school senior wouldn’t miss out on the milestone! And when she was finally cleared to go home in October, her community put on an epic celebration!
On the ride home to Syracuse, Sarah saw dozens of her friends, relatives, and classmates lining the road — all cheering for her!
Everyone had gathered in a joyous parade to welcome her home in style, complete with police escorts and the University of Utah’s cheerleading squad!
All of it meant the world to Sarah, who traded her usual smile for happy tears.
While she’s taken every step of her recovery in stride, even she can’t deny it’s been hard. But having so many people in her corner has helped her move forward every day!
“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,” she said. “I think it’s good for other people to know that they’re not alone, and that’s something that I’ve learned.”
The cherry on top? Sarah got to perform with her cheer squad during the last home football game of the season!
Talk about feeling loved! We’re so happy to see Sarah surrounded by love as she takes the next steps forward. She’s on track to graduate this year, and something tells us there will be an even bigger celebration come spring!
Share this story to spread even more support for the incredible teen.
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