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Teen injured in snowplow accident makes great strides

Loren Kroll said she was going to miss her team at Mary Free Bed when she graduated Aug. 4. The teenager, who was struck by a snowplow in January while waiting for the school bus, was critically injured and hospitalized for five months before coming to Mary Free Bed in May for rehabilitation.

Loren sustained a broken arm, leg and pelvis as well as some internal injuries, but has healed and accomplished many therapy goals, from dressing herself to walking.

“I’ve walked over 400 feet so far,” she said.

Her remarkable team at Mary Free Bed came up with creative ways to help Loren progress.

Part of her therapy included a trip to her Montague home to help Loren prepare for an upcoming 4H Fair, where she will show her steer. Occupational therapist Jennifer Ancans, pediatric recreational therapy specialist Deb Brewer and child life specialist Kelsey Combs accompanied her.

“This was a great opportunity for OT and Recreation to work together as a team to help a patient achieve her goals,” Ancans said of the outing. The team helped Loren wash, dry and brush the steer and took photographs for a book she is required to have as part of a 4H project.

Pediatric physical therapy assistant Starr Vander Hart used her moonlighting talent as a DJ and karaoke host to include music as part of Loren’s therapy (see accompanying video below).

“Music really helped her rehab journey,” she said.

FOX 17 visited Mary Free Bed’s Grand Rapids’ campus last week to talk with Loren. To watch her story, click here.

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