American Fork High cheerleader paralyzed in ATV accident is honored at football game

Aug 26, 2022, 11:28 PM

AMERICAN FORK, UtahEmily Traveller is usually the one cheering, but Friday night, the crowd cheered for her at American Fork High School’s football game.

Traveller just got back to Utah after spending months at a physical therapy clinic in Colorado. She was injured in an ATV accident while having fun with friends at Little Sahara Recreation Area in April. The 17-year-old broke her neck and initially lost movement in her arms and legs.

“I couldn’t feel anything, so nothing hurt, but it was also really weird feeling, like, a lot of emotions,” Emily said.

The high school cheerleader is defying odds and has now regained some movement in her arms and wrists. 

Friday night, her fight was honored by her peers in a special way. The crowd went wild as Traveller entered into the field through a tunnel escorted by the football teams’ captains. 

“It was just exciting! It’s good to be back,” she said. “It just kind of reminds me how much I am loved and it’s a good reminder.”

Her family said having the community cheer her on is making a difference in her recovery. 

“We love this community. We have felt it since the night of the accident,” Kari Traveller, Emily’s mother said. “Being here tonight was a big thing for her. She loves the fall football games and I was proud of her because I know she’d rather be in uniform.” 

Emily’s mother said her physical improvement has everything to do with what her daughter learned as a student-athlete.

“She just keeps pushing,” she said. “Today, she was moving herself up and down off of her stomach, so those are all really, really big things.”

Emily will be taking online classes this fall while continuing daily physical therapy. She hopes to be back on campus in-person her senior year.

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American Fork High cheerleader paralyzed in ATV accident is honored at football game