Living up to the fearless tale

Mar. 7, 2012
Anali Reyes

Behind every scar there is a story.

Some are prominent, visible to the naked eye while others fade away with time but one thing is guaranteed, not one is the same. As for Sierra Rabenold’s the six inch scar on located on her right arm serves as a reminder to be more cautious.

It all started when she and her family departed on a six hour road trip while in Africa. Rabenold who is accustomed to riding on the roof of vehicles said not even five minutes had passed when things went terribly wrong.

As everyone took their seats the then 13 year-old opted for the fresh air and decided to sit on a spare tire on top of the roof of the car. As she saw a tree approaching she tried to avoid it but instead was catapulted off the moving car.

“Next thing I know I was lying face down while the car continued to drive down behind me,” she said.

Immediately the vehicle came to a halt as her brother jumped to her aid. Sierra expressed extreme pain and came to the conclusion that her right arm might have been dislocated. The temporary solution was pulling on her arm with the possibility of setting it back to place until a medic took a look at it.

Though the trick seemed to work at first the pain settled back into her arm as the trip proceeded. Family members even went was far holding the arm for her to avoid the discomfort from the bumps on the road. Rabenold laughs as she said the pain turned into her feeling “loopy” and caused her to sing after a dose of Valium was administered.

X rays at a nearby hospital revealed she had suffered a compound break and needed immediate surgery to repair the fractured bone.

Since the hospital that could operate on her was two days away by car, the family contacted a friend that not only studied wildlife but also had an airplane for his work needs. He agreed to fly Rabenold to the capital were she underwent surgery that night.

“I remember still being out at that point,” she reminisces. “But in a way the flight was as a distraction as I watched the scenery below.”

Thirteen stitches later Rabenold was out of surgery and required to a week of rest in the hospital. Though she described her doctor as “crazy looking” she said everyone in the hospital soon grew fond of her and even started to refer to her as Stella.

“We figured out that my dad must have written my name wrong [on the paperwork] because he was nervous,” she laughs

When asked if she regrets making the decision to ride on top of the car, she gives a friendly grin.

“I still ride on the top of cars but [the incident] has taught me to be more cautious,” she said.

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