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Stem Cell Therapy: Paralyzed Whitfield Co teen takes first steps, community pitching in

Posted: May 02, 2014 4:57 PM CDT Updated: May 02, 2014 6:05 PM CDT
By Kimberly Barbour, Reporter

Hannah LockeWHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) – A North Georgia community is rallying around a teen girl recovering from a head-on car crash. She recently took her first steps since becoming paralyzed one year ago.

17-year-old Hannah Locke was riding in her family’s car last April when another car hit them head-on. She’s been confined to a wheelchair ever since, but now, a breakthrough.

Her community is trying to raise money for more treatment in hopes she’ll be able to walk on her own again someday.

Hannah is a junior at Coahulla Creek High School. Before the paralyzing accident she was a three sport athlete. Now her drive has shifted to getting out of the wheelchair she’s been in for the last year. She says it’s with her faith and community that she’s getting closer reaching that goal. Her friends are hoping to give her a boost this weekend.

It’s been a year full of challenges far beyond most teens, but Hannah Locke is only growing stronger.

She recently took her first steps since becoming paralyzed one year after a head-on crash. In just the last month, she’s re-gained some control over the lower half of her body.

“They laid me down and told me to try to kick my legs and they did it and we were all like, what just happened,” Hannah said.

Now she’s walking with a harness.

“Feeling emotion-wise, it’s exciting but feeling-wise, it’s weird to see my feet moving and not really be in complete control over them or feel them,” Hannah said.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been filled with so much joy before because I know how hard she works on a daily basis whether it’s therapy or here at home just getting out of bed, doing normal things me and you do that’s so much harder for her,” friend Jordan Greene said.

Hannah says people throughout Whitfield County have been there holding her hand through it all. They’ve held fundraisers to help pay some of her medical expenses, but this weekend they’re going bigger. They’ve organized a benefit concert featuring Christian musicians and some cast members from the show Duck Dynasty.

“People throughout the community were just like oh you need posters, we’ll print them, oh you need t-shirts we’ll do that, oh you need a gym, come use ours,” Greene said.

The money will pay for a return trip to Panama where Hannah hopes to get more stem cell injections that are helping re-connect the nerves in her legs.

Those who know her say they’ll do everything they can to get her back on her feet again. They say she’s a girl who inspires everyone she meets with her positive attitude and unwavering faith in God.

“He always finds a way to shine a light in the toughest storms,” Hannah said.

The concert is 5:30 p.m. Sunday at North Murray High School. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. They still half the seats available and will still be selling them at the door. General admission is $30 and floor preferred tickets are $60. For more info, call 800-965-9324 or email

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