Traumatic Brain Sport Injury

The Story of Superwoman Sally and her Road to Recovery after a Traumatic Brain Sport Injury

Today we often hear about athletics and traumatic brain sport injury.   Laboratories and scientists all have something different to say about the continuously worsening case against sports which put athletes at a high level of risk for brain injuries.  President Barack Obama even stated that he would not let his child play football, due to the risk of injury.

Paul Stone points out that although we do hear a lot from researchers, we don’t hear many honest and extensive personal stories of living through a brain injury. He also observes that winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding frequently cause brain injuries that can be much more severe than those of a football injury, but they rarely talk about these injuries.

Many consider Sally Francklyn to be one of the most inspirational athletes in the world.  Yet her story is not widely known.  She is an inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered a traumatic brain sport injury.  ESPN has given Sally the opportunity to tell her story, and it is a remarkable one.

On March 24, 2012, Sally Francklyn and three close friends hopped on the tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to enjoy a beautiful day of springtime skiing. The group discussed plans for the day over waffles, and headed out to the top boundary gate towards Cody Peak.  They were all experienced skiers.  Their plan for the day was to ski an extremely steep run called “Once is Enough” and then continue south towards Jensen Canyon.  The conditions looked great for the run when they got to the top of the mountain.

The first skier to go down was the most familiar with the terrain.  He navigated the steep entrance and made his way down, exiting to a safe zone on the right. Sally was next. She entered the shoot and made a few turns, but then something went very wrong. Sally began to tumble, and unable to stop in time, collided with the rock wall at the bottom of the couloir, which shattered her helmet in the process. Those she was with did all they could to save her.  She was rushed to a local hospital where for the next three weeks, she remained in an unresponsive medically-induced coma.

Despite suffering a severe and life alterting traumatic brain sport injury in her ski accident, Francklyn, now 26, defied all odds, rightfully earning her the title of “Superwoman Sally.” After two years of rehabilitation, she finally skied again. Her most significant accomplishment since her traumatic brain sport injury had been inspiring others through organizations like the High Fives Foundation.  The High Fives Foundation is a nonprofit that raises money and awareness for athletes that have suffered life-altering injuries.

The Sally Franklin Story, above, gives Sally the chance to tell her story from the inside.  If it seems familiar, it is because thousands of winter sports athletes have gone through the same trials and pains of traumatic brain sport injury.  Her story is an inspiration to watch and will leaving you thinking “If Sally can, I can.”


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