Friends rally for Olathe Northwest gymnast who fractured her spine during practice

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KANSAS CITY, Mo – Metro teenagers fight for their friend’s recovery after a freak accident left the Olathe Northwest gymnast without feeling in her legs.

Anna Sarol, 14, fractured her spine after she landed on her back during gymnastic practice last week. According to a ‘You Caring’ web page created by her family, she lost feeling from the waist down. While Anna goes through extensive surgery at Children’s Mercy, her friends and coaches are praying she’ll be able to walk and run again someday.

“It’s hard because we come in here, we have memories of her running around the gym and having fun with her friends. That’s the hard part. We won’t have that Anna anymore.”

Monique Penn has been training Anna Sarol since she was a little girl and last week she got the call every coach fears.

“I got a frantic call from her dad that he she was on the way to the hospital.”

Anna was warming up at Olathe Northwest when she fell on her back. Doctors told her family she fractured her spine and needed surgery.

“It’s hard to have something like this happen to someone you’re so close to,” teammate Ellie Platt said.

Anna made it through extensive surgery, as friends say surgeons fused her spinal cord together. Friends have been visiting her at the hospital and struggle to see her in this state.

“I know this will change everything forever,” teammate Annabelle Cusumano said.

Friends say Anna was the one cheering them on at practice, pushing them to be the best version of themselves, as seen in a video created to motivate her teammates.

“Never give up. It’s probably the hardest thing to do. It’s all worth it in the end,” Sarol said.

But now, the roles have reversed. It’s her friends who have gladly stepped in to motivate her.

“I love you. Feel better. I’m sending my prayers towards you.”

They created a video she could watch in her hospital bed.

“I hope that this helps you get through the day. I know it’s helping me get through the day.”

And although the road will be long, friends say if anyone can make it back to practice, it’s Anna.

“Love you. Keep fighting. I know you can get through it,” Platt said.

The Olathe school district sent FOX 4 this statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Anna and her family at this time. They are in our hearts and we are here to support them in any way we can.”

Family says doctors can’t tell them what is in store for Anna’s future. They say at this point, all they can do is take it day by day.

To help Anna and get updates on her progress, click here:

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