UPDATE: Student shot by another student at Albemarle High School; suspect in custody

North Davidson cheerleader fights to walk after car accident

LEXINGTON, N.C. — Melanie Pell has been a cheerleader since she was 7-years-old.

Despite a devastating car accident in June and the multiple surgeries that followed, the 17-year-old is still cheering from her wheelchair at each of North Davidson High School’s sporting events.

“I broke both femurs, both tibias, two bones in my left foot, one in my right foot, and my radius and my left arm,” Pell said. 

Pell’s mother, Samantha Ziglar, was working in the trauma unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center when her daughter was brought in. 

“Probably the worst feeling of my life because I work there. I see what happens to people in bad accidents… I’ve seen people not make it — I was terrified,” Ziglar said. 

Pell was in an unconscious state for a while and underwent two major surgeries, but her years as a competitive cheerleader helped her remain strong. 

“I’m gonna have to start my senior year in a wheelchair — that really hurt,” Pell said. 

With the love and support of family and friends, Pell says she hopes to take her first steps since the accident very soon.

“Tuesday I go to the doctor and I get x-rays, and as long as everything looks good I’m going to get to try to stand up and walk. So, it’s a big day,” Pell said. 

Despite her tough road to recovery, Pell was voted “Best Smile” among her senior class. 

“I just know I have an amazing child. I’ve never seen anybody that could be hurt and thrown through such a huge curve in (their) life and handle it the way she has,” Ziglar said. 

Pell added, “I thank God for my friends and family because they’ve been there through all of this.”

Danny Harnden reports in the video above.



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