It was a night when belief replaced doubt, and tears of joy washed away tears of sorrow.
Just a few weeks ago, neither Sarah Davis nor her family was confident she would be able to make it to her Friday night graduation from Cascade Christian High School. She had been critically injured in a traffic accident May 15, suffering internal injuries and broken bones, and undergoing multiple surgeries.
“We prayed we would be here,” her mom, Jackie, said Friday, minutes before the graduation ceremony began.
Friday night, the prayers of family and classmates were answered as Cascade High junior Nate Brar wheeled a glowing Sarah across the stage at Champions Centre in Tacoma to the cheers and ovations of the crowd.
Just the day before graduation, Davis had the wires that had been holding her jaw shut removed, leaving the school cheerleader and academic honors student free to smile all night long.
After receiving her diploma, along with 83 other members of the Puyallup high school’s class of 2012, Sarah said she felt overwhelmed. And grateful.
“I was just so thankful,” she said. “It was a shock that everyone cared so much.”
Davis’ ordeal began last month when she backed out of a driveway on West Tapps Drive East. She’d been visiting her boyfriend, Codey Johnson, a Sumner High School student.
As she pulled out of the drive, her car was hit by a truck believed to be speeding, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The truck hit the driver’s side of Davis’ vehicle, and she was thrown from the car.
Emergency crews from East Pierce Fire & Rescue responded. Two of Davis’ rescuers, paramedic Rich White and EMT Jason Cancro, were there to see her graduate Friday.
“It’s good to see a happy ending,” Cancro said.
Davis’ mom said that right after the accident, doctors could not give her the kinds of reassurances she wanted. Davis’ pelvis was broken in five places, and she had numerous other broken and injured bones.
Most critical, her mom said, were Davis’ internal injuries. The teen underwent something like six surgeries in a week.
While Davis remained sedated in intensive care at Tacoma General Hospital, her family and classmates prayed. They plastered her hospital room with cards, photos and hand-written messages. She finally made it home to Graham on Memorial Day.
“It’s just been one miracle after another,” her mom said.
For now, Davis is glad to be home. Due to the extent of her injuries, she is as yet unable to put pressure on her limbs. She will have to wait to begin physical therapy.
Davis says her time in the hospital has made her more determined than ever to pursue her chosen career in nursing. She’s due to start college in the fall at Pacific Lutheran University.
After the formalities of graduation ended, Davis and her family and friends headed to a room off the main lobby at Champions Centre. Johnson gently removed her high-heeled sandals. He said it was hard watching his girlfriend suffer through her experience, but what kept him holding on were “all the prayers, and everybody coming together to help.”
“God has a purpose,” Davis said. “Prayers have really kept me here, and helped me through everything.”
Davis’ mom understands that her daughter has a long road to recovery.
“But she’s strong, she’s positive, and she’s got a lot of people praying for her,” she said.debbie.cafazzo @thenewstribune.com 253-597-8635