“Watch me come back from this. And I will come back from this.”
Those are the words vowed by Bree McMahon two years ago when a horrible accident changed the road of life she traveled forever.
Today, Bree is a student-athlete at Brevard College, where she is a member of the Tornados Division II soccer team and the heart and soul of the women’s squad. She isn’t quite the same player she was in high school when Brevard called and offered her a scholarship to continue her playing career, but her leadership and courage far surpasses any athletic talent she had.
In 2010, Bree and her high school club soccer teammates held a carwash to raise money for their team. As Bree was preparing to wash a car, her best friend’s foot slipped off the break and onto the gas, hitting Bree and pinning her against a nearby wall. Her lower extremities had been crushed. Doctors amputated her left leg and recommended her right leg be removed as well. Against the doctors’ wishes, Bree & her parents made the decision to keep her right leg.
Bree went through eight operations in the next 32 days while in the hospital. She has undergone 18 total operations since the accident as doctors tried to fix what they told Bree would be a “useless” leg. Bree refused to believe their words. “Watch me,” she told them.
Flash forward to April 2012. There is Bree in full uniform for the Brevard College Tornados. The North Carolina-college honored their original scholarship offer to Bree before her accident and wanted her to join the team. Thanks to a new prosethic leg that looks very similar to ones worn by Oscar Pistorius, Bree is able to run and walk without additional support. Even more, Bree played 25 minutes at goalkeerp for the Tornados in their final game of the spring exhibition season. She made one save and no one scored on her.
Dreams do come true. But only after you compete. You compete to make those dreams happen.
Bree understands her soccer career is quite limited, but her competitive spirit refuses to sit idle. So she has shifted her focus to a new sport – volleyball and is spent June with a Paralympic team in Toronto in hopes of improving her skills. Her focus is to compete in the Paralympics one day.
When Bree’s mother Kathleen was asked about her today’s journey, she simply said, “She has encouraged us to never settle. She proved everybody wrong. She’s a walking, talking testament to determination.”
For more on Bree’s incredible journey, check out the ESPN Outside the Lines video below: