MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Rutherford County student that couldn’t walk following a serious car crash last December is now making a remarkable recovery.
Caytie Gascoigne didn’t know if she’d be able to walk come prom night, yet alone before her high school graduation, but on Saturday night, she walked across the stage as she was crowned queen.
She also performed in her senior play Sunday afternoon at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro.
The December crash left Gascoigne in a coma for 21 days at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple broken bones requiring several surgeries.
“I was going straight and [the other driver] thought that he could beat me, so he basically hit me head-on,” Gascoigne said of the crash.
“I couldn’t walk at first,” she continued. “I was non-weight baring on both of my limbs, on both of my legs, and I wasn’t weight-bearing on my right hand, so I literally only had my left hand to do anything with.”
The 17-year-old had one goal: to walk across the stage for graduation.
After intensive physical therapy, she surpassed that goal and was able to walk again for prom Saturday night.
“I’ve just been learning to walk better now,” Gascoigne told News 2.
The talented student, swimmer and actress was crowned queen at the school’s dance.
“It was so much fun. I did not expect to be prom queen,” she said. “Every girls dream is to be prom queen, so just to get that I was, like, it was just awesome.”
It was also an emotional reveal for the Riverdale student body, Gascoigne’s drama teacher told News 2.
“Everybody in the whole place just erupted when they called her name because everybody wanted Caytie to win,” Mary Ellen Smith said.
After the crowning, Gascoigne danced on stage with the prom king, the principal and her boyfriend, and she walked again Sunday for her school’s senior play.
“When we cast Caytie, she was still in the ICU at Vanderbilt,” Smith said. “Just week by week, you can see such a change.”
Smith, who has been Gascoigne’s drama teacher for four years, said the theater students also witnessed the change through rehearsals all semester.
“She was in a wheelchair and then she moved to a walker and then she would get out there, and so you know she’s just come so far in such a short amount of time,” she explained.
Smith said Gascoigne is a role model and exemplifies the true meaning of a Riverdale Warrior.
If you’d like to donate to help the family with medical bills, visit their GoFundMe page.