From Wheelchair to Running

After winning state in cross country as a freshman in 2021, Allie’s life changed in an instant in June 2022 whenever she was ejected in a rollover accident. She was life flighted to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital with severe injuries, including head trauma. She also suffered a broken back, a fractured pelvis, and a ruptured bladder.


A month after the accident, Allie was transferred to Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital for recovery.


Allie arrived at Ranken Jordan with two rods in her back and a bone flap in her skull to alleviate brain swelling. Because of her fractured pelvis she couldn’t put any weight on her legs.


But that didn’t stop therapists from immediately working with Allie to strengthen her upper body and her leg muscles as part of her recovery.


“We arrived on a Wednesday and started therapy right away,” CJ, Allie’s mom says. “It was intense initially but seeing everyone’s attitude persuaded me this was the right decision. Everyone here is friendly, positive and upbeat. The nurses know everyone’s name and seeing all the patients out and about pushed us to take the next step. And we haven’t looked back since.”


CJ says they saw progress in Allie after just a couple of days at Ranken Jordan. She sometimes had therapy five or six times a day.


Thanks to donor generosity, Ranken Jordan was able to provide a special boot needed for her recovery. The boot isn’t typically covered by insurance. “This was so emotional,” CJ says. “Ranken Jordan knows what patients need and creates possibilities for anyone even if they don’t have money or insurance.”


Allie and her family had just returned from Yellowstone National Park when the accident happened in June. As an outdoorsy family, Allie and CJ have enjoyed the opportunity to spend time outside in the garden and Activity Canyon play area as a peaceful haven.  Allie feels most at home whenever she is outdoors.


CJ believes this positive spirit at Ranken Jordan makes it a special place for patients to thrive. “The attitude here helps so many children to progress. The team gets to know the patients and jokes with them. And the patients want to do the exercises because of the relationship the team has with them. Every little success and progress is celebrated.”


As Allie and CJ look ahead, they’re inspired to give back. “We’re not financially blessed but Allie and I want to be part of the volunteer program at Ranken Jordan,” CJ says. “I want to make sure the feeling of being so welcomed continues in all that goes on here.”


Even after inpatient discharge, Allie continues to make Ranken Jordan a part of her life. She continues to thrive in her progress. Allie participates in outpatient therapy with the goal to participate in cross country once again in the fall of 2023. In October 2022, Allie participated Ranken Jordan’s 5K for Play and announced the countdown for runners.