Elko Woman's Journey to Walk Again

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ELKO, Nev. -- Doctors told her she would never walk again, but Lizzy Pritchett is defying the odds. Now, she needs the community's help to get her back on her feet.

Lizzy Pritchett always lived her life in motion; she never missed a beat growing up in Elko. If she wasn't training at the gym or rock climbing, she would be shredding up the mountains with her snowboard or dirt bike.

"I'm always fidgeting or moving around or trying to do something, even something that I wake up in the morning I'm like 'I'm going to try something impossible because I can do anything," said Pritchett.

That all changed about two years ago. She was biking to work in San Diego when she met her fate in the middle of a four track train crossing.

"I saw it last second and I tried to stop and turn but the train was going like 45mph and it was in the outskirts of town so then it just got me," she said.

The 23-year-old suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs, and skull fractures. It was a rude awakening when she also realized she had lost her ability to walk.

"I've always been so unstoppable, I've been a dreamer and I still am and I think that's helped me a lot," she said. "Once I realized the gravity of the situation when I woke up, I couldn't move anything below my shoulders. All I could do was move my head."

Picking up a glass of orange juice or getting dressed in the morning are daily struggles for Pritchett. Odds were against her that she'd even live let alone walk again, but in Pritchett's mind, it was just one more challenge to overcome.

"I'm pretty dependent, pretty helpless almost, so if there is one thing that this injury isn't going to be able to take away it's my determination, it's my ambition and most days, my attitude and personality."

Along with carrying the title of "mom," now she is tackling the job of being Pritchett's biggest cheer leader and full-time care-taker.

"I told her a couple of weeks after she was injured I said, 'I want you to promise me that you'll never stop living your life,'" said her mother, April Young.

While still confined to a wheel chair, Pritchett is determined to keep an active lifestyle...hoping to get back on her feet.

"I really just want to dance!" she said. "Laying around and watching movies, as easy as that sounds, that's not going to get me anywhere."

Pritchett's friends friends and family in Spring Creek want to help her dance again. They are holding a fundraiser called Rock the Walk on May 3. Two women, Carol Evans and Vicki Daniels, will walk more than thirty miles to raise funds for her physical therapy. They are asking the public to make a pledge for each mile they walk.

To make a donation send it to:

The Liz Pritchett Medical Fund
Nevada Bank and Trust, 852 Idaho St, Elko, NV 89801

For more information, contact Cammy Evans at (775) 815-1725 or via e-mail at cammy_evans@yahoo.com.