Shyann Freitas was enveloped in a group hug when she reunited with her Waimea High School volleyball teammates at the Kauai High School gym on Friday.
It was the first game the freshman made it to after an ATV accident near the Old Kola Sugar Mill that took her right foot.
“I just got my stitches pulled out today,” she said on Friday afternoon. “It’s feeling good.”
Freitas returned to Kauai from Kapiolani Medical Center on Tuesday and is happy to be home.
She was riding an ATV with a friend on Sept. 2. Her friend was driving fast when they took a turn too sharp and the ATV rolled.
“It flipped onto my side and it crushed my legs,” Shyann said. “We rushed to the hospital and they put my foot back together, but it got infected so we had to amputate it.”
Shyann’s dad Byron Freitas said she was at Wilcox Medical Center for five days after the accident, then was transported for a 25-day stay at Kapiolani Medical Center, where she had 10 surgeries.
“They had to go in and clean it and then go in and cut the dead tissue off,” Byron said. “Two were for amputation and then there was a skin graft.”
Altogether, Shyann said the time at Kapiolani was full of amazing people — a doctor who helped her fashion a sock-character named Patricia to cover her injury, visits from family, and new friendships with patients at the hospital.
“At first it was not so good, but I started to feel better,” Shyann said. “I had people visiting, and I went to PT (physical therapy) and OT (occupational therapy).”
It’s been a trying experience for the family, but Shyann said she’s adjusting to using crutches to walk around on one foot, and is meeting challenges head-on.
“Sometimes I forget I don’t have it,” she said. “Sometimes I can still feel my toes.”
A nature lover and an active person, Shyann is venturing out into her yard now, spending as much time as she can outside with her two Chihuahuas.
“Getting around in tight spaces (is a challenge still) and getting into the shower and up and down the stairs,” she said. “I had to learn how to walk again on one foot.”
Looking forward, Shyann said she’s excited about healing enough to get a prosthetic. She plans to get a tutor so she can stay on track with her education while she’s recovering.
“Things are really good. She’s adjusting well and her spirits are super great,” said mom Melissa Freitas. “She doesn’t complain about anything and her pain is pretty much under control, getting better every day.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses.
On Friday, Shyann fit right back in with her volleyball teammates as if she’d never been gone, hugging her friends and looking forward to the day when she’ll be back on the court with them.
“I don’t know how long it’ll be, we just have to wait and see,” Shyann said. “I’m excited to be with my friends and the team.”
Jessica Else can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.