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Orlando teenager recovering in local hospital after soccer game injury

Posted at 5:01 PM, Oct 05, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-- An Orlando area teenager is regaining strength at St. Mary's Medical Center after a scary soccer injury last weekend left her unable to move.

16-year-old Donielle Stephan is from Merritt Island and was playing in a soccer game in Stuart last Saturday when she was injured. She was playing goalie and when she went to stop the ball, she was kneed in the jaw. Her head went backward, and then to the left. She couldn't move after it happened.

Tina Drummond, a close friend of the family says: "Her mother rushed over to her side, it was extremely scary."

Drummond says on Friday Donielle was able to use her arms to lift a fork up to her mouth. It was a huge step forward. She says: "it seems to be temporary paralysis. She's regaining her movement so that's good and she never lost feeling. She didn't move at all, her reflexes were either absent or diminished, the whole time until yesterday she started having reflexes returning and more consistent at that point."

It's been a tough week for the family, hoping for the best in Donielle's recovery while being hours away from home, where her brother is dealing with paralysis from a recent motorcycle accident.

Drummond says Donielle is a fighter and a tough girl. She says: "I just knew that I had to have faith in her because of who she is, that she was going to fight back from this and she would not stay down and there was nothing that was going to keep her down."

She also is a kicker for the JV football team. Drummond says that fighting, non-stop spirit is keeping Donielle moving forward. "I'm sure she wants to be on the field, if you know her, she'll be on the field as soon as possible."  

The family is hoping to move Donielle to an Orlando hospital to continue her recovery. They are raising money for that transport, which they hope will happen soon. 

If you'd like to help, you can visit their GoFundMe page here.