JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. – An Olathe High School gymnast paralyzed in an accident got a huge Christmas Eve surprise.
Anna Sarol faces a long road to recovery after falling off the high bars in August. She spent weeks at Children's Mercy Hospital, then traveled to Chicago to endure more physical therapy. She's kept a positive attitude through it all, and on Christmas Eve, her positivity was returned in a huge way.
A hangar at the Johnson County Executive airport was transformed into the North Pole for a young cancer patient Thursday morning. Anna thought she and her gymnastics team were volunteering to help with the cleanup for that earlier event. What she didn't know is that she, too would be on the receiving end of the Christmas spirit.
Under the boxes and wrapping was a $25,000 machine that will help Anna with her physical therapy and circulation in her legs. Anna said, “I was really excited because my parents have been really fighting for it, especially for insurance because insurance is hard.”
Her parents have wrestled with how to afford this critical part of Anna's recovery. Now on Christmas Eve, Anna is looking forward to healing and spending time with her family.
“I'm going to get better with my muscles with this machine," Anna said. "They’ve done so much for me, and I love them so much. I'm so grateful to have them.”
Organizers say they were so glad to be able to provide this for Anna and her family for the holidays.