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She will be a specator for the rest of the season. But just seeing her up and about made Sandy and all those around her smile.

Just a week earlier, Osterhoudt was involved in a horrifying head-to-head collision with an opposing player during the latter stages of Phoenixville's 2-1 double-overtime victory over Perkiomen Valley Monday night, Oct. 4, at Washington Field.

Osterhoudt, a junior midfielder for coach Mike Koch's Phantoms, was airlifted by MedEvac helicopter to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in Philadelphia for emergency treatment.

"She was down there in eight minutes," said Sandy's grateful mother, Jeanie Osterhoudt, who went through the ordeal along with her husband, Lew.

Sandy suffered a serious concussion and does not remember anything about the game or the helicopter ride and treatment, just warming up.

"I was walking again Sunday," Sandy said. "I got full movement in my legs. But I don't remember anything. The fun part I don't remember.

"Everybody was great, the emergency people. (Trainer) Joanne (Doherty) was especially."

Sandy does not plan to have the frightening experience affect her life for a long time. She plans to run track for the rest of the year. As for soccer, she hopes to return during winter workouts and definitely plans to play again next fall.

"I got a lot of phone calls," she said. "I got the thoughts from everyone who was supportive and cared. My parents were really helpful the whole time.

"I was back in school Monday (Oct. 11). I am catching up with all my work. I will be a cheerleader (for soccer)."

Sandy was hospitalized overnight.

"Tests were done the whole time," Jeanie Osterhoudt said. "There was no brain damage. We were so lucky that all the people there knew what to do. The HUP tested her and treated her. We were very thankful. It is nice to have people take care of you.

"It was a night game and everybody was so excited, but it was nerve-wracking. She hit the other girl and rubbed her head. She stayed out there and tried to play. Then she staggered and stunned herself. She woke up down at the hospital and remembers everything from then on."

West End Ambulance personnel worked with Sandy at the scene. As soon as the game ended, the lights were put out on Washington Field and a fire truck lit flares on the field to outline a landing area for the helicopter. It landed a few minutes later. No one was allowed to leave or move for safety reasons.

Both teams and several hundred parents and friends looked on in complete darkness when Sandy was rolled across the field and loaded into the helicopter. She received a thunderous ovation above the roar of the engines, and the stunned crowd watched the chopper rise.

The helicopter landed atop HUP, and Sandy was treated at the trauma center. After several hours, she couldn't move her legs as three neurosurgeons conferred. Sandy regained consciousness during ultrasound, but still could not move her legs. At 2:12 a.m., Sandy started wiggling her toes, lifting and bending her legs.

The miracle occurred and everyone's prayers were answered.

"Sandy embodies what our team is," Koch said. "She is the kind of kid you want them all to be. She works hard, has fun and is a team player. She supports her teammates. It shows how valuable she is and things she does in the games we played without her. If I had 11 players like Sandy, I would play anybody.

"She was stumbling and I subbed her. I asked her questions and she couldn't answer. Then I turned her over to the trainer."

The rest, fortunately, is now just history.

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