By all accounts Taylor Hale has been a typical 14-year-old girl: fun, spunky, outgoing and well-liked.
“She is just a happy-go-lucky, bubbly, cheerleader,” says friend of the family, Laura Hess. “That’s the only way to explain her. She’s just a clown. Always smiling.”
Hale, a freshman cheerleader and volleyball player at Prairieview School in Waukee, was doing Friday what teenagers often do when she was severely injured. She was visiting friends after a Waukee High School football game where the Warriors claimed a victory over the Ottumwa Bulldogs.
According to incident and eyewitness reports, Hale was thrown from the hood of a moving car, landed on the street and hit her head on the concrete causing injuries severe enough to land her in the intensive care unit. She remains in critical condition at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.
Reports say Hale and a friend, Hailey Stitz, were both thrown from the vehicle but Stitz managed to land on her feet uninjured. Hale was not so lucky.
“It was an accident,” said Hess. “We just want to focus on Taylor getting better.”
According to Hale’s page on CarePages.com, she has “suffered severe brain trauma” and “has been sedated so her body can rest and start the recovery process.” Hess said the family is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.
“It’s up and down,” said Hess. “We’re all really trying to stay positive, keeping Taylor in our thoughts and prayers and hoping for a full recovery. “
Hess has set up a fundraising campaign for the family. Donation cans are available at two Waukee Kum & Go gas stations – one on University across from Waukee High School and the other on Fourth Street. In the coming weeks, friends will also be selling bracelets for $5 each with all proceeds going toward Hale’s medical expenses.
In addition to the canisters and bracelets, accounts have been set up at Northwest Bank in West Des Moines and all Wells Fargo and Liberty Bank locations to help the family with medical expenses.
At Northwest Bank, send checks payable to Prayers for Taylor, 5700 University Ave., #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266.
To donate at any Liberty Bank, mention the Taylor Hale fund, and at Wells Fargo, reference account number 7735584307 to donate.
Support for Taylor and the Hale family has been swift. The family has set up a CarePages page for Taylor where friends can track her progress and get updates and other news from the family. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to Taylor and her recovery. The Pray for Taylor Hale page has close to 350 fans so far.
If you would like to send your well wishes to Taylor and her family, you can send a card through Blank Children’s Hospital by clicking here. All messages are delivered to the patient’s room.
Hale is allowed visitors but only between 5-8 p.m. Students are allowed in only two at a time and must be accompanied by a parent.