Woman Whose Face Was Crushed By ATV Warns Of Dangers


UPDATED: Wednesday October 31, 2012 6:35 PM

A 21-year-old woman’s life changed in an instant as the ATV she was riding flipped on top of her.

Sarah Wood was riding an ATV with her boyfriend, Jacob Workman, on Oct. 16, when she crashed while riding down a hill by herself.

“I just caught the ruts wrong, the front wheels got caught and flipped me over,” Wood said. “I remember looking down and thinking, ‘Oh no!’”

The ATV landed on Wood’s head and shattered the bones in her face below her eye sockets.

Workman kept his girlfriend conscious.

“I knew I had to get her out of there,” Workman said.

Within minutes, a helicopter took her from the off-road trail where they were riding in New Lexington to Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” Wood said. “He’s been a big rock for me. He’s helped push me. He hasn’t left my side.”

Sandy Wood, Sarah’s mother, said that she was speechless after she saw the x-rays of her daughter’s face.

“I got that one phone call that no parent ever wants to get,” Sandy Wood said.

Sandy said that her daughter was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash – a mistake that she does not want others to make.

“We have all learned from this,” Sandy said. “We’ve all ridden without helmets, and you never think it’s going to happen to you or one of yours, and it’s a wake-up call.”

Sarah said that she was lucky.

“Six inches lower, I would have probably broken my neck. Higher, and I would have brain damage,” Sarah said.

So far, Sarah has gone through four surgeries and faces many more in the future.

Doctors say she has made so much progress in the last two weeks that she was able to leave the hospital today.

“It’s just a big lift off my shoulders,” Sarah said. “It just feels good to know that I’ve been able to make it this far this quickly.”

Sarah said that she is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from her friends and family. Many people are keeping in touch and expressing their well wishes through a special Facebook page.

Sarah does not have health insurance. The family is planning a number of benefits in Sarah’s honor to raise money to pay for her current and future medical bills.

The first is planned for Sunday, Nov. 4 at Sarah’s alma mater, Alexander High School in Albany, from 1-4 p.m. Another benefit featuring a chicken dinner, live bands and a raffle is planned for Nov. 11 at the Eagles in Glouster from 12-11 p.m.

Friends are also planning a community yard sale at Alexander High School on Nov. 24-25. A 5-K run is also in the works.   The family has also set up a donation website.

Sandy says that her daughter is an inspiration to her.

“She has come through this so fast and so strong, and she inspires me. She shows me that there is nothing I can’t overcome through her example,” Sandy said. “She’s my hero.”

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