Bettendorf girl reaches life-changing milestone after sledding accident that almost amputated her leg

BETTENDORF-- "I kept asking myself why did this happen to me, but I guess it's just my story."

It's a story that looks different depending on whom you ask.

"I see pain that I went through and everything that's happened so far," says 12-year-old Savannah Zaehringer.

Last winder Savannah got in a sledding accident. She was sledding off of 23rd Street in Bettendorf when she hit a fence. Her body went under the fence, and her right foot got stuck. At first doctors said her dying leg needed to be amputated. But nine surgeries and eleven blood transfusions later, this story is still going.

Back in March, Savannah was home from the hospital, but pretty much bed ridden. Her physical therapy was getting in and out of bed. But she knew she could keep her leg.

But the chapter unfolding now is taking an unexpected turn for the best.

Savannah is now walking on her own, not very far, but walking.

"I was really happy because honestly, I thought I wouldn't walk because it's been so long," says Savannah.

But her journey to healing has been close to perfect.

"Everything that could go wrong, she really hasn't gone wrong," says Savannah's mom Sasha. "I'm glad I trusted my instincts when I said no, I want her in Iowa City because if not, she wouldn't have her leg."

The next chapter is healing the pressure ulcer on the bottom of her foot.

But after that, a new plot twist.

"Run. It's the one thing I love to do," says Savannah.

It's a different story depending on who's looking. But it's a story worth telling in hopes it can help someone else writing their own.

"I think her leg is beautiful. It tells a story that she'll share and touch other peoples lives and be able to use it for good," says Sasha.

Savannah will return to school in August. She will be an eight grader at Bettendorf Middle School.