When a car crashed into 14-year-old Brianna Boel as she was crossing a busy Louisville intersection on Wednesday, she fractured her skull, broke one of her wrists and snapped two bones in one of her legs.
At first, John Boel was at a loss as he attempted to comfort his daughter prior to her surgery to repair her mangled wrist and leg. Then the WAVE 3 anchor asked Brianna to remember the courage Louisville guard Kevin Ware showed after he suffered a similarly gruesome broken leg in the first half of the Cardinals' Elite Eight game against Duke.
"I asked her to remember Kevin Ware, his break, how bad it was, how fast he was up on the sideline, and how he's already back shooting," Boel said via email. "She perked right up, that all clicked, and she immediately seemed more calm about what lied ahead."
If the conversation about Ware brought a smile to Brianna's face, imagine how much more inspired she became when he showed up in her room at Kosair Children's Hospital that evening.
A friend of John's saw his Facebook post about Brianna drawing strength from Ware's story and relayed the story to Ware via social media. Ware contacted the WAVE 3 newsroom soon afterward and asked John's permission to come visit with Brianna at the hospital.
"He was here within an hour, so soon that she was barely out of surgery and was in a lot of pain," John said. "He was so sweet to her that she was smiling for the first time in days."
Credit Ware for continuing to give back to the Louisville community that showed him so much support after his injury. He showed Brianna how quickly he has recovered from the surgery and that he is already able to walk without crutches and shoot a basketball even with rods in his legs.
Before Ware left, he signed Brianna's cast. The message was perfect: "Pinky Promise. You will be fine."
(Thanks, Eye on College Basketball)
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