In November 2006, when Prehn was 11 years old,
she was heading home on Highway 6 outside of San Antonio, Texas.
In an instant, the car she was in was spinning, struck head-on by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel going 75 miles per hour.
As the car spun around, the truck behind collided with the passenger side where Prehn was sitting. Prehn was rushed to the hospital.
Along with puncturing both lungs and sustaining multiple internal injuries, Prehn broke her back and suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed her from the waist down.
What followed was two months in the intensive care unit followed by another two months of inpatient rehab.
An active gymnast and soccer player, Prehn now had to focus on reacquiring simple movement skills.
“I was working on a new way of life, from bathing to dressing myself, pretty much relearning everything,” she explains.
After her time in the hospital, Prehn returned home and committed herself to recovery,
continuing with outpatient rehab throughout middle school and high school in her hometown of Austin.
A LIFE-CHANGING INSTANT When she made her college decision to attend Texas A&M University,
more than 100 miles away from her doctors and her family, she developed a home therapy routine that she still uses today as a young alumna.
Prehn also brings her walker into the pool and has begun to see slight movement in her legs as she moves them forward.
A LIFE-CHANGING INSTANT And soon she’ll return to the hospital for advanced therapy with a ReWalk® machine,
a robotic exoskeleton that powers the legs to allow her to stand up and walk as she shifts her weight using arm crutches.
“I’ve had doctors tell me, ‘You’re never going to walk again’ or ‘You’ll never get feeling or motion back in your legs,’” she says.
“But with the amount of therapy I do, I’ve proven a lot of people wrong.
and I don’t think I would have progressed to the point I have right now.”
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