NORTON, Ohio (WOIO) - October 19th, 2019, should’ve been a fun-filled night for Norton High School cheerleader Emma Pfouts, but instead of making the lasting memories she expected, the teen collapsed in a chair at her homecoming dance.
“It was devastating,” said Christina Boyer Weigand, Emma’s mother. “You don’t think that your kid going to a homecoming dance is gonna result in a life or death situation.”
Boyer Weigand nearly lost her daughter. Emma suffered from a severe asthma attack.
“I mean she wasn’t expected to live the first night,” her mother explained. “There were so many calls of I don’t know if she’s gonna make it. For the first month at least we were not sure if she was gonna pull through or not and even then doctors said we were gonna take her home in a vegetative state and she was not gonna recover at all, so, to have what we have now is miraculous.”
She has overcome all the odds and step by step, 17-year-old Emma Pfouts is taking her life back.
“She asked today, ‘Do you think I’ll be able to do a back flip again?’ I said, ‘Yeah! You’ll be able to do whatever you want. Look how far you’ve come!’”
Emma has physically taken several steps, but in the past two weeks Emma had two surgeries at Akron Children's Hospital on her feet to help her walk with more ease.
“She came out of it saying, ‘Can I cheer? Can I walk?’ So, she was ready to go as soon as she came out of surgery with it,” her mom said.
But the road to recovery is far from over. Emma also developed acute respiratory distress syndrome as a result of the attack. She practices breathing exercises to help. Doctors also didn't think Emma would ever talk again.
“She has really become more engaging in conversations,” said Boyer Weigand. “She initiates conversations where before it was kind of like yes no type things and now she is having full on conversations like you and would have so she is chatty Kathy now.”
Boyer Weigand said she could not be prouder of her daughter
“She definitely inspires me every day and she definitely is my personal hero for everything that she’s come through and the attitude that she has,” her mother said. “She really is amazing.”
Emma’s parents do want her to go back to school eventually, but COVID-19 has made it less likely she’ll be able to physically go back for the time being, but they are hoping one day she will be able to.