'An incredible story… beautiful and heartwarming! Colorado vball is some of the best!'
Sports injuries are extremely traumatic for any athlete. These injuries are sometimes career-ending and even if the athlete is able to return to the field, it can be a long road to recovery. Zoe Rollins, a high-school volleyball star, had such a life-altering injury in April 2021. The Thompson Valley High School student was critically injured in a single-car incident on Highway 34 under icy conditions. Rollins and her sister, Emily Rollins, had concluded volleyball practice at Thompson Valley High School and were driving home, according to Reporter-Herald. The visibility was very low throughout their route and at one point Emily lost control of the vehicle and it crashed on an embankment. They were both thrown from the vehicle and Emily was trapped under it while Zoe was sitting up in the snow.
Incredible moment for Thompson Valley senior night as Zoe Rollins, who suffered a major spinal cord injury in an accident a year and a half ago, served her first over the net ball since the accident that put her in a wheelchair (Video/Photo: @mistyhussphoto) #copreps pic.twitter.com/VTIEmhDovZ— CHSAA (@CHSAA) October 20, 2022
Due to the visibility being low, it was some time before a passer-by saw them and stopped and called for help. The sisters were taken to the hospital and Emily recovered in time but Rollins suffered a severe spinal cord injury. She underwent spinal surgery just after the accident where her spine was rebuilt. She spent months in the hospital and a rehabilitation center and lost the feeling in her legs below the knees. Despite all the difficulties, she has now returned to court and served her first over-the-net ball in a wheelchair.
Injured in a vehicle accident - that left her partially paralyzed - Thompson Valley HS Volleyball Player Zoe Rollins returns to the court and successfully serves! @channel2kwgn @KDVR @ChildrensColo @CraigHospital @CityofLoveland @LovelandFRA pic.twitter.com/s0CfKR5rs9— Gregory Nieto (@greg_nieto) October 21, 2022
CHSAA shared a video of this beautiful moment on Twitter and people were moved to tears. The middle hitter entered a match against Severance High School. She was able to successfully serve a ball over the net with the assistance of a parent and everyone erupted into applause. A Twitter user commented, "An incredible story… beautiful and heartwarming! Colorado vball is some of the best!" Another added, "So proud of you, Zoe! You are amazing!"
Rollins was also crowned as the homecoming queen as a senior in her high school. She told KDVR, "It was really cool." Her mother attributes her daughter's exceptional progress to the Thompson Valley Community, as well as doctors, nurses, and rehabilitation professionals, as well as "Denver Adaptive Divers."
Fueled by Zoe Rollins’ courageous journey, Thompson Valley volleyball constructs title-winning season https://t.co/YIh4RmqRUu— Colo. HS Volleyball (@ColoHSVB) November 17, 2021
She told the outlet, "You just have to go. Even if you don’t want to, you have to keep trying. Like, you never know what’s gonna come out of it." In another similar instance, a cheerleader, Sarah Frei, lost both of her legs in a car crash. A drunk driver crashed into her car while driving and she sustained severe injuries in both her legs. However, after spending 75 days in recovery she was surprised by a parade from her doctors, nurses, and physical therapists at the Craig H Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital in Salt Lake City. The University of Utah cheerleading squad also joined into celebrate her homecoming.
The entire community came out to celebrate her coming home in a police-escorted march that included dozens of her family, friends, and high school classmates. It also included cheer teams from other schools and soccer teams and at the end, the cheer teams even performed a beautiful dance for her.