A Millard West graduate and former cheerleader has been discharged from the intensive care unit after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a weekend pool accident.
On Saturday afternoon, Hannah Green and a group of friends were having a pool party at the Green family’s Elkhorn home.
In the pool, boys were tossing the girls, many of whom were cheerleaders, in the air so they could do flips before landing back in the water.
Green, 18, went up in the air to do a backflip but landed outside the pool, hit her head on the concrete and fell, unconscious, into the pool, said her mother, Heidi Green.
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“The actual impact with the cement sounded horrific,” Heidi Green told The World-Herald on Thursday.
One of the teens pulled Hannah Green out of the pool while they waited for paramedics to arrive, her mom said.
In critical condition, Green had fractured her skull and had some bleeding on her brain. She spent a day sedated and on a breathing machine at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy. Doctors expected her to be sedated and in the ICU for at least a week, but Green had her own ideas, her mom said.
The day after the accident, she wriggled her hand out of her restraints and started tugging at the breathing tube.
“She had her own fighting spirit to get us out of there,” her mom said.
Dad Brian Green and younger sister Elise stayed by Green’s bedside in the ICU. During Green’s hospital stay, her sister was the only one who could keep her calm.
Green was listed in fair condition and left the hospital Wednesday. Doctors will monitor the bleeding and Green will start rehabilitation. Her communication skills and memory were affected by the injury.
Now she is home, walking and talking.
“The power of prayer is what’s got us to where we’re at,” Heidi Green said.
Hannah Green has been dealing with the brain injury and pain. Her sister, a senior at Elkhorn South High School, has spent long hours at her side. Their mom said they’ve felt an overwhelming amount of support in person and via social media. Green’s friends have been visiting and supporting her.
Kamry Rasmussen has been with Green since she got home. Rasmussen slept by her friend’s side, setting alarms when Green needed medicine during the night.
The girls have been inseparable this summer, spending almost every day together. They work at the same boutique and recently went to a concert .
Rasmussen said Green has had a smile on her face each time friends stop by to visit.
“I’m not surprised at all that she beat the odds and got out (of the hospital) way sooner than she was supposed to,” Rasmussen, 18, said. “She is a fighter.”
Rasmussen, who was at the pool Saturday, said she was scared to see her friend being lifted out of the water. She was the one who dialed 911.
Adam Krupicka, a Millard North grad, was playing basketball in the pool when he saw the accident.
He managed to stay calm under pressure, thanks to an internship in athletic training and sports injury. Krupicka, 19, gently grabbed Green from the water and laid her on a couch near the pool until paramedics arrived.
Krupicka said he was glad he was still there and was able to help. Green’s personality and attitude will help her push through the obstacles, he added.
“Keep praying and hoping for the best for her,” Krupicka said. “Keep her family and her friends in your prayers as well.”
The accident will delay Green’s college plans. She was set to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall and hoped to try out for the Husker cheer squad next school year.
She started cheerleading in middle school. When Green joined the cheer team at Millard West, she came in comfortable and confident, said Stefani Lane, one of Green’s cheer coaches at Millard West.
Green acted as the team jokester, always making her coaches and teammates laugh.
“She’s really funny and is loved by all of her teammates,” Lane said.
Green worked hard and never missed a practice, game or competition. Last year, she was quick to overcome a back injury during the cheer season.
“I’m sad for her that she can’t start that next chapter right away,” Lane said. “I have absolutely no doubt she will be back at it 100%. Based on what I know about her, she’ll be back better than ever.”
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