EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Holly McDonald can’t believe she’s in her last year of high school volleyball.
“I don’t think I’ve come to grips with it yet. I think it feels unbelievable,” said McDonald.
But she’s really the one who’s unbelievable. Last September 9th, she was driving to Eureka High School when her car was rear-ended in a construction zone on Route 117.
The car was totaled. And McDonald suffered a concussion and broken bones to her face.
“I was scared in the hospital when I couldn’t see anything because my eyes were swollen shut,” McDonald sai8d. “I was terrified I couldn’t play volleyball again.”
She needed emergency surgery following a broken orbital bone, check bone and nose. In the months that followed she had kidney surgery.
“Volleyball season was coming up, she kept having more surgeries,” said Eureka senior volleyball player Delany Phillips. “I’m grateful she is here now. She is ready to play.”
In the year since the accident, she had five surgeries. But remarkably McDonald didn’t miss any games in the spring volleyball season, kept straight A’s and is now helping the Hornets to a fast start this fall.
“I’m so thankful we are done with everything. Thankful for everyone around me, supporting me,” said McDonald.
She wants to play volleyball in college and hopes a big senior year will lead to recruiting attention. She’d also like to study medicine.
The accident may have also directed her down a career path. In the past 12 months while she was recovering from her accident, McDonald took classes to become a certified nurses assistant.
“I started something productive for my future in that moment (following the accident),” said McDonald of her CNA class. “I love it so much. I don’t think I would have gone into the medical field or started thinking about it, if it wasn’t for my accident.”