“A truck driver had just pulled out of a chicken house onto that road. He was right there at the stop sign where it happened,” Ware tells me. “The dust hadn’t even settled after the car finished rolling and he stayed there until the ambulance and the EMT’s came.”
Samantha’s C5 was broken in half and her spine was bruised.
“To see her fight has made me really proud of her,” he admits.
You can feel the smile through the phone. Trust me on that one.
“Knowing how tough it is, what’s she’s going through…? It makes everything I’m going through seem minimal. She’s my hero…”
She can walk on her own after the last few months of work she’s put in, but does have a wheelchair if she gets tired. She gets tired easily, and the spinal bruise is still keeping her from recovering fully. But Samantha made a point to walk into the school for the photo you see above. She had to be held steady, though, because balance is an issue for her sometimes still.
Todd’s twin sisters, Kayce and Katie, have been a godsend and they’re taking Samantha back and forth to her rehab appointments. They’re teachers, too, so they understand on more than one level.
The football community has reached out.
Georgia Tech’s football team got word and, before spring practice, coach Paul Johnson addressed the team about Samantha. They all signed a flag and sent it to the family as a show of support.
“It’s humbling,” Ware admits. “There are times that you feel you just don’t want any help. But the school let me spend my first two weeks on staff with Samantha in the waiting room at the hospital.”
And Lincolnton has reached out to the Wares as well. The first thoughts of everyone Todd meets always seem to start with: “How’s Samantha? How’s our girl doing?” When you have a sister who teaches at the middle school, word gets out quickly, and the community has even pitched in helping with expenses. Legendary head coach Larry Campbell went straight to Todd’s sister, Christie, and asked what he could do. His first thoughts are of Samantha when they see each other. Not about football.