Senior girls involved in a boating accident

Caeden Smithpeter, Online Editor

This past summer, senior Sofia Bennett was in a boating accident in the Cayman Islands on July 8.

Bennett traveled to the Cayman Islands for a fun vacation with her best friend Cambree Frerking and her family when she was in a boating accident with five other people. The driver of the boat was getting ready to bring the boat to shore and call it a night until he misjudged a turn and the boat hit land.

Bennett fractured her C5, C6 & T5. She had a compound fracture from her T2-T9, which means she broke her back and neck. She also received 15 stitches on her top lip, chipped a tooth, and hurt her jaw. She had her C5 & C6 fused, using part of her hip bone and a metal plate with screws and she had her disc that she ruptured removed. The only injury that Frerking received was stitches in her arm and head and her bicep is in half but she didn’t have to have surgery.

“Sofia is my rock. I am so beyond blessed and thankful to be walking out of this with her still by my side. I am thanking God every second for not taking her away from me. We are in this together. Forever and always,” Frerking said.

Right after the accident, Bennett and Frerking were rushed to the hospital, but the doctors in Cayman Islands made it seem like there weren’t any life-threatening injuries to Frerking or Bennett. The hospital didn’t have any proper neck-braces for Bennett in the Cayman Islands, so the doctor had to make one. The doctor told Bennett that if she wore this neck-brace for a certain amount of time, she would be healed perfectly and wouldn’t have any more problems.

Bennett and Frerking were flown home on July 11 and Bennett’s parents took her right to Children’s Mercy to have another doctor see her. The doctor said that Bennett, in fact, did have life-threatening injuries and they were shocked at the fact that she was alive and walking. Doctors said Bennett would have to have surgery as soon as possible.

Bennett had surgery on July 12 and the surgery took five hours, three hours longer than expected.

“I am so blessed I had amazing doctors and nurses that really took great care of me,” Bennett said.

Bennett was given a proper neck-brace and wore it for six straight weeks. One of her passions is dance. She takes dance class at Monica’s School of Dance. She is also a three-year member on Touch of Silver Dance Team. She doesn’t know when she will be able to dance again.

“I am just so blessed to be alive and walking, and I know that one day I will be able to dance again, just like I used to before,” Bennett said.