Community supports girl hurt in sledding accident

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)- When you watch 7-year-old Danica Hawke laugh and run with her friends you wouldn’t know that the first grader has spent the past few months recovering from serious injuries.

“My wife was there with the girls and a couple of friends and it was actually the first time that she went down the hill that it happened,” Danica’s dad Jeremey said..

Jeremy Hawke says it was a sunny day sledding at Pinehurst Park in January that went terribly wrong.

“I guess her sister gave her a push down the hill and that's when she hit the tree,” Hawke explained.

After her sled crashed into a tree, Danica was flown to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN with a broken arm, neck injury and several skull fractures.

She spent the next month recovering in the hospital before she was finally cleared to go home.

“She is almost done with physical therapy,” Hawke explained. “Basically she is just trying to get her balance back now through physical therapy.”

All that time spent in the hospital and in physical therapy has left the family with high medical bills. That's why Danica’s elementary school stepped up to help Thursday night with a pancake dinner.

“It could have been any of our kids and I hope that the school would come together for any of us here,” Heather Johnson, President of the Halmstead Elementary PTO said.

Danica's family says they couldn't be more thankful for the outpouring of support. As for future sledding trips, Danica and her dad say next year they will take to the hill again but be even more careful.

“I think we'll go sliding next winter I think we'll just probably go to a smaller hill. Danica is kind of a daredevil not to many things scare her so I think she'll be ready to get back at it,” Hawke said.