SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — With a long road to recovery after a tragic accident in St. Louis, a Smyrna teenager has been gaining worldwide support.
Janae Edmondson’s pursuit of playing volleyball for University of Tennessee Southern, where she was committed, was cut short Feb. 18 when a car crushed her, sending her to the hospital in critical condition. Both of Edmonson’s legs were amputated following the incident.
Edmondson is hospitalized in stable but critical condition with her family, said Jeff Wismer, assistant director of the Middle Tennessee Volleyball Club.
The Smyrna High School student has many talents. In addition to being a star volleyball player, she also played basketball and softball. And that’s not all, Edmondson is a talented violin player who is a member of her school’s orchestra, and she has an impressive academic record with a 3.7 GPA.
Since news of this tragedy spread, a GoFundMe started by the Middle Tennessee Volleyball Club has raised more than $260,000 from more than 4,000 donors in show of support.
But, not only that, prayers and messages of encouragement have poured in from all over, including from her school leaders.
“Janae is a multi-talented and well-rounded student being involved in athletics as well as the arts. Yes, she is most well-known for being on the SHS volleyball and basketball teams, but she also plays the violin in our school orchestra. She is loved and admired by the other students in the orchestra and has no doubt been a valuable member of that ensemble since she the Bulldog community was blessed that she and her family moved to Smyrna 3 years ago. Janae has such an amazing personality, being able to balance passion and intensity with joy and humility. And I am confident that everyone at SHS will unite to support Janae in any ways that we can.”Ben Reagh, SHS Orchestra Director
“We are deeply touched and thankful for the outpouring of love that has been shown for Janae and her family, as well as Smyrna High School the past few days. Janae is an exceptional young lady who excels both academically and athletically. Her strong commitment to work on and off the court will be a strong part of her recovery over the coming months. We are blessed to have Janae and her family as a part of the Bulldog family, and we will be here for anything that is needed.”Sherri Southerland, SHS principal
“Janae wrote recently on an assignment that she considers herself a student first and an athlete second. This demonstrates her devotion to being successful both academically and athletically.”Lois Bennett, SHS English Dual Enrollment teacher/National Honor Society Sponsor
“We are brokenhearted and devastated at what one of our own is going through and will continue to go through. Janae Edmondson is a bright light with a gorgeous smile and a wonderful work ethic. Our volleyball team is a family, and we are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to surround her with hugs, love, and laughter. She has a long road of recovery ahead and anyone with resources or a platform, please share the situation, the GoFundMe, and shower the family with prayers.”Katy Bell, SHS Volleyball Coach
“Janae is one of the toughest, most hard nosed kids I have ever had the privilege of coaching. I have known her and her family since she was in elementary school and am completely assured that her family is equipped to make the most out of this tough situation. They are one of the most close knit families I know and Janae will definitely have the foundation to overcome this situation stronger than ever.”Coach Lonnie Drayton, SHS girls softball and girls basketball coach
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.