Mass. teenager on road to recovery from devastating spinal injury

A teenager from Rockland, Massachusetts, got the chance to take a victory lap that was months in the making on Wednesday.Evonne Woodfin, 17, is back on her feet with the help of a walker after suffering a devastating spinal injury while on a family vacation in Puerto Rico in June.Woodfin and her cousins were jumping off rocks into a natural pool when a terrible accident happened on her first jump.”I got scared when I was going to jump and I slipped off,” Woodfin said. “I didn’t feel the fall. I just felt the rocks hit me and then everything went numb after that.”Woodfin was rushed to a hospital in Puerto Rico and then moved to a trauma center. But after five days passed, no surgery seemed imminent. That is when her aunt, Angie Felix-Rharib, got some major help from her employer of 18 years. Boston-based North Coast Seafoods approved the use of the company credit card to fly Woodfin home. The medical flight cost $40,000.”They paid out of pocket for me to fly my niece home,” Felix-Rharib said. “I took out a loan with them. I’m basically just paying them back.”Woodfin underwent surgery to stabilize her spine at Tufts Medical Center before she was transferred to Franciscan Children’s Hospital.”When Evonne first came to us, she didn’t have any movement in that left leg and very minimal in the right,” said Kaleigh Duggan, a physical therapist at Franciscan Children’s.Woodfin and her team did not give up and a new friend, 2-year-old Elijah, helped keep her going through physical therapy.”We bonded,” Woodfin said. “It was really fun.”On Wednesday, Woodfin was discharged from the hospital and the Franciscan Children’s staff celebrated her return home with a bubble parade. As she left the hospital, Woodfin wore a shirt that read: “I stayed at the Fran, so now I can.”In addition, a GoFundMe page has helped cover the costs of Woodfin’s care and medical flight from Puerto Rico.”I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s gotten me where I am today,” Woodfin said. Woodfin will continue outpatient therapy with a goal of walking on her own.

A teenager from Rockland, Massachusetts, got the chance to take a victory lap that was months in the making on Wednesday.

Evonne Woodfin, 17, is back on her feet with the help of a walker after suffering a devastating spinal injury while on a family vacation in Puerto Rico in June.

Woodfin and her cousins were jumping off rocks into a natural pool when a terrible accident happened on her first jump.

“I got scared when I was going to jump and I slipped off,” Woodfin said. “I didn’t feel the fall. I just felt the rocks hit me and then everything went numb after that.”

Woodfin was rushed to a hospital in Puerto Rico and then moved to a trauma center. But after five days passed, no surgery seemed imminent. That is when her aunt, Angie Felix-Rharib, got some major help from her employer of 18 years. Boston-based North Coast Seafoods approved the use of the company credit card to fly Woodfin home. The medical flight cost $40,000.

“They paid out of pocket for me to fly my niece home,” Felix-Rharib said. “I took out a loan with them. I’m basically just paying them back.”

Woodfin underwent surgery to stabilize her spine at Tufts Medical Center before she was transferred to Franciscan Children’s Hospital.

“When Evonne first came to us, she didn’t have any movement in that left leg and very minimal in the right,” said Kaleigh Duggan, a physical therapist at Franciscan Children’s.

Woodfin and her team did not give up and a new friend, 2-year-old Elijah, helped keep her going through physical therapy.

“We bonded,” Woodfin said. “It was really fun.”

Evonne Woodfin, 17, of Rockland, Massachusetts

Hearst Owned

Evonne Woodfin

On Wednesday, Woodfin was discharged from the hospital and the Franciscan Children’s staff celebrated her return home with a bubble parade. As she left the hospital, Woodfin wore a shirt that read: “I stayed at the Fran, so now I can.”

In addition, a GoFundMe page has helped cover the costs of Woodfin’s care and medical flight from Puerto Rico.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s gotten me where I am today,” Woodfin said.

Woodfin will continue outpatient therapy with a goal of walking on her own.

Evonne Woodfin, 17, of Rockland, Massachusetts, holds up a shirt on the day she was discharged from Franciscan Children's Hospital that reads: "I stayed at the Fran, so now I can."

Hearst Owned

Evonne Woodfin, 17, of Rockland, Massachusetts, holds up a shirt on the day she was discharged from Franciscan Children’s Hospital that reads: “I stayed at the Fran, so now I can.”

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