Manchester girl honored as Kid Captain for Ball State game - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Manchester girl honored as Kid Captain for Ball State game

MANCHESTER (KWWL) -- Two years ago, 14 year old Maleah McCool suffered life threatening injuries from a car accident. This Saturday she'll be honored as the Hawkeye Kid Captain. April 5th, 2008 was a busy day for the McCool family. Mom, Tami, was in Iowa City watch her son's baseball game. Dad, Bill was being treating at University of Iowa for an infection in his leg. And daughter, Maleah was in Manchester at her brothers alumni basketball.

"And I got a call when I was at the baseball game that said, you need to come to the hospital right away," Tami said.

But she wasn't going to the hospital to see her husband.

"We turned on the highway to get to our house, and she turned right in front of a car and the car hit my side. And I don't remember anything from the accident," Maleah explained.

Then, 11 year old, Maleah had been in a bad accident.

"And I don't remember anything from the accident," Maleah said.

It turns out Maleah had been airlifted from Manchester to Iowa City. The McCool's would soon find out she sustained head and brain injuries, a damaged lung, numerous broken bones and a damaged kidney.

"One doctor told us that she was five minutes away from bleeding to death. If you looked at her MRI's she probably should live the rest of her life in a vegetative state," Tami said.

The McCool's found themselves hoping for a miracle as they watch Maleah make it through the first night. And many to follow.

"She truly is just a walking miracle," Tami said.

After a month Maleah was moved to Covenant in Waterloo where she continued rehab treatments; learning to talk and talk again. This past summer Maleah worked hard in summer school classes and just began her freshman year at Western Delaware.

"I've learned that you have to look at things different in life and that you have to live it up and live the life you want to," Maleah said.

Saturday morning, as the Hawkeye football team hosts Ball State, hoping to recover from a loss to Arizona. Maleah will step on the field as this weeks kid captain, who recovered from an accident that changed her life.

"Out of all the people I didn't' know that I would be picked and I'm so excited to go down on the sidelines with them. I feel so lucky," Maleah said.

Today Maleah is back to her normal self. She suffers from short term memory loss and has a few scars from the accident.

By the way her brother, Nick, played baseball for Iowa at the time of the accident. The driver of the car is now Maleah's sister-in-law. And the McCool's say the couldn't have gotten through any of this without their support and the support of so many other people.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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