Tulsa 14-Year-Old Loses Arm, Not Spirit, In ATV Wreck


Wednesday, May 13th 2015, 11:08 pm
By: Emory Bryan


Just days ago, life centered around a horse for one 14-year-old girl; now she's in the hospital after a serious ATV accident.

Lily Rhodes loves to ride and jump on her horse, but on May 9, 2015, she and five of her friends crashed on an ATV.

Lily lost her arm in the accident, but didn't lose any of her spirit and plans to be back on her horse just as soon as she gets out of Saint Francis Children's Hospital.

At 14 years old, Lily is a survivor.

"It was scary, but I just kind of chose to stay calm, I don't really know how to explain it," she said.

On Saturday, May 9, Lily was on an ATV at a birthday party with some friends when, she believes they hit a hole causing the machine to roll over.

5/9/2015 Related Story: Teenage Girl's Arm Amputated In UTV Crash At Keystone Lake, OHP Says

Everybody was thrown off and hurt - four of them with less severe injuries. One girl had a broken vertebrae and remains in the hospital, and Lily's arm was almost severed - and she knew it.

"And I looked down and said ‘Well that's not good,' I remember saying that," she said.

Since that moment, she's had lots of support, and not just flowers, presents and a specially made bear missing an arm.

It started at the scene, with her friends' parents working to control the bleeding, then the paramedics and a flight crew that took her in and came back to visit.

She's thankful for the surgeons, nurses and everyone who had a role in saving what's left of her arm, and her life.

"From the start, I just thought ‘this is a bad situation, and these people are here to help me and I should make the best of a bad situation.' So when I got on the helicopter I said ‘Hi I'm Lilly,' and I shook their hand, and I said to the surgeons, ‘you're about to save my life, so I should at least introduce myself,'" Lily said.

Now, all she can think about is getting back on her horse, Pippin, but the surgeon told her to wait a few weeks.

"It's not going to stop me from doing what I love. I'm still going to keep riding," she said.

Lilly's school year at Edison Middle School is over, but she hopes to stop in for a visit with her friends before classes end next week.

She should get out the hospital Friday.

If you'd like to help, a fundraising site has been set up to help Lily and her family pay for medical bills.