AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Ask Aiken County teen Hallie Anderson about her favorite horse, Pippen, and a smile radiates from her face when she thinks about the french warm blood.
When thinking about the horse, Hallie says, it brings her pure joy. "When I ride it's like a whole new world," Anderson told NewsChannel 6's Shawn Cabbagestalk.
A traumatic brain injury almost forced her to to give up her first love for riding. She says she doesn't remember the accident just, "waking up in the hospital several hours later" and being told she fell back and hit the back of her head.
The injury also forced her to put off graduating. She withdrew from all of my classes.
But with determination, this equestrian recovered and went through therapy even though the road traveled would be a difficult one.
She said she "became depressed during that time because I couldn't ride and go out. "
It also became apparent her brain function would be permanently limited. As a result, she could not continue to attend brick-&-mortar high school or graduate there without avoiding special-ed courses - especially as she was already several months behind due to her hospital stay.
Determined to graduate, Hallie enrolled with K12 International Academy (also called“iCademy”), an online private school. The coursework is tailored to individual students’ strengths & is not constrained by a bell schedule.
In spite of missing school & her injury, Hallie graduated high school this month - in the fall, she will attend University of South Carolina-Aiken. It's something she says couldn't be possible without to family and friends.
She's not looking on the accident as a curse but a blessing in disguise, "I've come to accept who I am," Hallie said.
She even joined a music therapy group something that has given her a new song one she showed off to NewsChannel 6.
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