Varsity Extra

Idaho teen fell 300 feet over a cliff in ATV accident. Doctors ‘amazed’ she can walk.

Michelle Pratt (right), a 2017 Blackfoot High graduate and record-setting state track champion, climbed stairs as part of her physical therapy last week at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. Pratt was severely injured after an ATV accident sent her over a 300-foot cliff earlier this month.
Michelle Pratt (right), a 2017 Blackfoot High graduate and record-setting state track champion, climbed stairs as part of her physical therapy last week at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. Pratt was severely injured after an ATV accident sent her over a 300-foot cliff earlier this month. Courtesy of Alisa Pratt

Alisa Pratt says her daughter is scheduled to be released from the hospital less than a month after she was severely injured in an ATV accident.

Michelle Pratt, a 2017 Blackfoot High graduate and record-setting state champion in the 800 meters, suffered a concussion and fractured vertebra and broke her hand after the brakes failed on the ATV she was driving with her cousin, sending them off a 300-foot cliff on July 3 in Fillmore, Utah.

A torn carotid artery caused Pratt to have a major stroke, temporarily paralyzing the left side of her body.

But the Weber State track signee is recovering much faster than doctors anticipated. She is expected to be released from Salt Lake City’s University of Utah Hospital on Aug. 1.

“She’s progressed miraculously. When she was injured, she had the stroke. She had zero feeling in that whole left side, and she couldn’t move anything,” Alisa Pratt said. “... They’re just amazed. She’s coming along really quick. Usually with stroke patients it’s a pretty slow process, but she’s really coming back quick. She’s able to walk.”

Michelle was driving the ATV with her cousin down a road with a series of switchbacks in Chalk Creek Canyon. She couldn’t get the brakes to work and tried slowing the vehicle by driving up a small hill.

Even the emergency brake wouldn’t work, Michelle said.

“I woke up at the bottom of the cliff and my hands and my helmet were so bloody. I kind of saw the four-wheeler, too. It was trashed up,” Michelle said. “Apparently my uncle found the seat in a tree. ... What I woke up to was my cousin screaming and yelling out help.”

Michelle’s cousin, Danielle Lewis, fractured her femur. Lewis had surgery to place a rod in her leg but has since been released from the hospital.

Although Michelle’s Weber State teammates are already working out in preparation for the cross country season, Alisa says her daughter will stay home the first semester to focus on her recovery.

“My motivation is trying to get to run again,” Michelle said.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with Pratt’s medical bills. Alisa is also providing updates on Michelle’s progress on her Facebook page.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

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