Bettendorf girl fighting to save her leg after severe sledding accident

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Update:

Want to send a "Get well soon" letter to Savannah? 

  • Who : Savannah Zaehringer
  • Where : 200 Hawkins Drive, Stead Family Children's Hospital PICU Room 325, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Original Story:

BETTENDORF-- A sledding hill has kids laughing and having fun. But mom Sasha Zaehringer and her 12-year-old daughter Savannah will never think of the snow covered slope the same.

"On Saturday she went sledding with a friend," says Sasha.

Savannah was sledding off of 23rd Street in Bettendorf when she hit a fence.

"She hit it, and from now we know her foot got caught in it, and she went under it because she was going so fast," says Sasha.

The pain hit instantly.

"She was screaming and crying, and she's really tough. She's my tough girl so I knew something wasn't right," says Sasha.

Sasha rushed Savannah to a local hospital. After hours of waiting for results, Savannah's foot went numb. Doctors said Savannah had Compartment Syndrome, something very rare in kids.

"It was such a bad break that it cuts off all blood supply and circulation to the leg. Her leg was dying," says Sasha.

She was then airlifted to University of Iowa Children's Hospital with the clock ticking to save her leg.

"You have a limited time frame. You have to surgically fix it. If you don't get it in that window, your leg dies," says Sasha.

After more than eight hours in surgery, Savannah miraculously still has both legs. But the road to recovery is far from over.

"They don't know, at this point, if they'll be able to save her leg because of how extensive, they told me a little bit ago it's critical," says Sasha.

But if there's one thing this mom knows about her tough as nails daughter, it's this.

"No matter the outcome, she knows no matter what how amazing and how strong she is, and that she can do anything that she puts her mind to," says Sasha.

Savannah is awaiting her second surgery Monday evening. From there, she will have to have multiple more. Doctors still need to assess nerve, muscle and artery damage. She's expected to be in the hospital for at least three weeks.

Savannah's friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page to offset hospital bills.