Local News

April 30, 2014

Living her faith

Teen takes first steps in more than a year

Hannah Locke was just a few weeks shy of her 16th birthday last year when a car wreck left her paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.

Doctors and therapists told her she would never walk again. But Hannah and her family never gave up hope and never lost faith that she would.

Just a few weeks ago, the 17-year-old junior at Coahulla Creek High School took her first steps in more than a year. They were assisted, but it’s a sign her body is healing.

“It’s exciting,” Hannah said. “There’s really no words. After something’s taken from you and you begin to get it back — I really don’t know how to put it into words how excited and thankful I am.”

During each therapy session since March 27 — when she was first able to move her legs intentionally — Hannah says she has made improvements. She’s been able to do a new exercise, move a different way or feel a new sensation.

Hannah’s mother, Mandy, the principal at Dug Gap Elementary School, was in an administrative meeting when Hannah’s therapist sent a video of Hannah moving her legs.

“I debated if I should watch it or not,” she said. “In that video she lifted her legs for the first time. I burst out squalling. ... We were all crying. We celebrated and praised God.”

Then when Hannah took her first steps, “It was the happiest day I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Mandy Locke said. “I can’t express such joy. I’ve never been more thrilled and more grateful to God than I have been in my entire life. It was reaffirming our prayers, everybody’s prayers.”

Hannah was in a three-car wreck on Dawnville Road on April 5, 2013. She was a passenger in a vehicle that was hit head-on when a car crossed the center lane. Others were also injured in the wreck, including her mother, but none as severely as Hannah. Her spinal injury, at chest level, left her completely paralyzed from the waist down.

It seems as though the paralysis was temporary thanks to God’s healing powers and intensive therapies and treatments, the Lockes say.

The community has rallied around Hannah through prayers and financial support. A benefit concert is planned for Hannah for Sunday at North Murray High School featuring Chris McDaniel, formerly of the country band Confederate Railroad, and John Luke Robertson and Sadie Robertson of the A&E hit television show “Duck Dynasty.” The concert begins at 5:30 p.m.

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