Healthy Living: Local News
Former High School Athlete Fights Her Way Back From Crippling Injury
Story Updated: Mar 20, 2014
Sara Gallagher was 24 years old, beautiful and full of life.
But, it only took a split second for her entire world to change.
The former high school lacrosse star was involved in an all-terrain vehicle accident in August 2011.
"I was diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury at T7 and 8 and thoracic spine and a traumatic brain injury," Sara said.
The progress she has made since her accident has been nothing short of amazing.
Surgery was performed to stabilize her spine with metal rods and screws.
A week later she was airlifted to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for several months of rehabilitation.
She still remembers the day she took her first steps.
"I just remember how good it felt to actually, like, move my legs," she said.
With the support of family and friends, she has come so far since.
Although she uses two canes to walk, Sara drives, lives alone and is working on her bachelor's degree.
While physical therapy recently ended, she exercises regularly with her athlete's spirit keeping her moving.
"There's still so much lacking and walking and there's tone issues and spasms and nerve issues," she said.
"I just am really proud that she's made the things that she's had and that she's moved forward," said Sue Gallagher, Sara's mom.
Despite being a paraplegic, Sara hasn't given up on walking unassisted.
She hopes to be approved for a state of the art device called Bioness, which attaches to the legs and delivers electrical charges to the muscles to help people walk.