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Oklahoma City accident victim named 'Champion' by Children's Miracle Network

Emilee Spencer, of Oklahoma City, is the 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion.
By Sarah Lobban, For The Oklahoman Modified: May 23, 2014 at 6:04 pm •  Published: May 27, 2014

A champion can be someone who has been triumphant in a struggle, has overcome great obstacles or who stands up on behalf of others.

Emilee Spencer is all of those things.

The 12-year-old Oklahoma City resident is Oklahoma’s 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion. The champions serve as advocates for the vital work done at children’s hospitals and the millions of young patients they see every year. Every champion also has a story about time spent in the care of one of the hospitals.

Fateful day

In 2012, Emilee was on vacation in the Texas Panhandle with her childhood friend Parker Gwin and his family. School was out for the summer, and she was taking time to relax and celebrate qualifying for the local regional competition on her swim team.

On the last day of the vacation, she and Parker were riding an all-terrain vehicle that skidded on a patch of gravel and flipped.

Parker was thrown clear of the crash, but the vehicle landed on top of Spencer, crushing her foot and inflicting other grave injuries.

She lay trapped under the vehicle for more than an hour, while her friend ran barefoot several miles over rough terrain to summon help.

“I wasn’t scared,” said Emilee, who remained conscious throughout the ordeal. “While I was waiting, I was trying to think of ways they could lift the ATV off me.”

She was taken to the nearest emergency room, but her foot was so severely mangled a Level 1 trauma center was needed. Once her condition was stabilized, she was flown to the OU Medical Center for emergency surgery, then moved to the The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.

Tough calls

Mindi Spencer faced the two hardest phone calls of her life. The first came from Parker’s family, alerting her to her daughter’s accident. Then she had to call her husband, Jack Spencer, a military officer who was stationed in Afghanistan. He rushed home to be with his family.

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