Accident changes outlook on back-to-school milestones - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Accident changes outlook on back-to-school milestones

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We stalk our kids with video cameras. Paparazzi parents. Shooting every move. Shedding every tear, rain or shine. But somewhere alone the line, the novelty of back-to-school wears off, until something happens that teaches some of us lessons we can't learn in school.

On July 10 a 14-year-old girl was hit while crossing Hurstbourne Parkway, by a car traveling 45 miles an hour. The windshield was smashed from the impact of her skull. A call was made to the parents from the coroner. But this time, the accident victim on the news was my child, Brianna Boel.

It was summer vacation, but suddenly we were forced to recall many of the things we learned long ago, like how to pray. How a bad night's sleep in intensive care can be the best night of sleep. How people we've never met show up to encourage us in our darkest hours.

"You're an angel," University of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware said to Brianna in an emergency room visit. "I had to come. Somebody told me about it today. Soon as I heard I had to speak to you. It's really a blessing. Be thankful. It's gonna be a process but I'm a prime example you do the exact same things and you'll be back."

Ware's UofL basketball team knows teamwork is something you practice. Brianna's high school dance team practiced teamwork even when it involved something they never practiced for.

In life, you learn teamwork is two dads spending their Father's Day morning building a wheelchair ramp in the rain. In life, our report card may be filled with problems: a skull fracture, bleeding brain, broken leg and wrist. But doctors get A's for a reason. They can fix what's broken.

A mangled leg can be reassembled with rods. A fractured head can be sewn back together. Before long, a wheelchair never looked so good. And when everything is so nearly taken away, just being able to do what the others can do is a big deal, like going back to school without a wheelchair, without crutches and without brain damage.

On Tuesday as Brianna's friends surprised her by rushing out to greet her as she limped in for her first day at Male High School, she realized she got a surprise "A" on her progress report before school even starts. A realization there are students, and parents, not as lucky. Not able to value the day. There are lessons learned, and lessons to be learned. Some of them are not from books.

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