WORCESTER, Mass. - Hannah Strom is back out on Lake Quinsigamond. Just a year ago, she was learning how to walk and run again.
“It’s just nice be back out there," Strom said.
In January of 2020, Hannah was in Florida with the Holy Cross women’s rowing team, when their van crashed.
Strom suffered a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and broke her pelvis. She was in a medically-induced coma before spending months in rehab and physical therapy.
“To not be able to do active things it was pretty tough," Strom said.
As she gained back her strength, Strom met Joe May, president of the Worcester Boat Club.
Joe is helping coach Hannah. He picks her up and brings her to the lake for practice a few times a week, since she can’t drive.
“She’s a lesson to everybody, to me she’s a walking miracle," May said.
Day by day, May says Strom’s skills are improving. She’s able to row a boat by herself.
“I’m just thankful that I met him," Strom said.
Recently, she raced for the first time since her accident. On her shoulder, she wrote the initials GR, to honor Holy Cross rower Grace Rett, who died in the crash.
“I miss her a lot,” she said. “She was always a good friend to me. And I’ll never forget how she made me feel.”
Strom hopes her perseverance will be an inspiration to others facing tragedy.
“Just know that there’s always hope after,” she said. “I’m like, living proof there is.”
Although Strom says she wishes the tragedy didn’t happen, she says she’s found her own silver lining.
“It’s taught me a lot of lessons in life and I have definitely learned about myself and the world," Strom said.
One of those lessons is what she wants to do after college. Strom says she wants to be a physical therapist, to help others who find themselves in a similar boat.