Emily's First Steps

Emily's life changed in just one moment on Feb. 10, 2018.  While headed out to go have coffee with a friend, Emily got out of her car and another driver lost control of theirs.

Emily is in the hospital in Birmingham after miraculously surviving a collision with an out of control truck - traveling around 50 miles per hour - as a pedestrian. 

In that blink of an eye, Emily’s right lower leg suffered multiple breaks, she sustained a pelvic fracture, fractured elbow, fractured left ankle, torn ligaments in her left knee, a broken nose, broken tooth and more.

This caring, compassionate, and courageous woman has so far undergone three serious surgeries - one of which was to amputate her right lower leg that, despite the surgeons’ best efforts, was irreparable. She has gone from being an extremely active middle school English teacher, volleyball and mountain biking coach, rock climber, hiker, scuba diver, swing dancer and overall adventurous individual - to having to learn to walk again. 

Emily has been a beacon of optimism in the face of these difficult circumstances. She shares her new "snaggle tooth smile" with everyone and shows amazing resiliancy.  She can’t wait to get fitted with a prosthesis to get back to doing all the things she loves and vows that she will dance, climb, hike and bike again.  But she knows it has to happen one step at a time.  We want to help her on this journey to recovery and this is where we are asking for your help. 

Emily faces a long road in the coming months of healing from major surgeries, rehabilitation, hospital stays, extensive physical therapy, legal fees and living expenses while away from work and beginning to take her first steps. 

In this journey some initial basic necessities she will need include:

Car modifications for driving again

Wheelchair and cane

Prosthesis (the socket) - Which as her body adjusts, it changes shape and will require a different socket so the fit is correct. Sometimes they will last a week, sometimes one goes through several a week.

Prosthesis (foot) - And while there have been major advances in prosthetics, they are still limited and each of the activities Emily loves will likely require a separate prosthesis (both socket and foot)  and they can run up to $15,000 a piece.

We've spoken to multiple prosthetic companies and learned that most of the prosthetics she would need for the more strenuous activities would likely not be covered by insurance. 

Additionally, nearly all prosthetics - even just a basic one for walking around - won't last the remainder of someone's life. They must be purchased again and again as they are worn through with the normal wear and tear that everyday life brings. The same will be true for the specialized prosthetics Emily will need to purchase as well. 

We appreciate any donation you can give as well as sharing her story with others. If you would prefer to send a donation directly to Emily contact the campaign for an address to send a check to.

Emily - your family and friends love you, and we are going to be by your side every new step of the way.  We want to see you walking, running, hiking, climbing, and dancing again soon.  You amaze us with your spirit and with your conviction.  Thank you for the inspiration you have been to us all!  We love you!

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 52 mos
  • Matt Little 
    • $20 
    • 53 mos
  • Maria Rutledge 
    • $50 
    • 54 mos
  • Tryston Gilbert 
    • $100 
    • 54 mos
  • Robert Barbier 
    • $200 
    • 54 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Joe Pangburn 
Huntsville, AL
Emily Stephenson 

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