In October 2017, then-21-year-old Ana Wakefield was heading to basketball practice from her home in Clackamas County, when the driver of a stolen SUV crossed the center line on Highway 212 and slammed into her car, head-on.
It was nearly the end for Ana Wakefield, who suffered a collapsed lung and breaks in both legs among other serious injuries. Her long road to recovery included five brain surgeries and physical therapy that continues to this day. But miraculously, she survived.
Five years later, Wakefield returned to a Clackamas Fire station to meet and thank some of the first responders who saved her life.
“Firefighters showed up to the scene and cut me out with the jaws of life,” Wakefield said during the visit. “They helped to save my life so I am here today. I want to spend my five-year anniversary telling the people who God put in my life to make a difference.”
Wakefield said she would not be where she is today without the first responders.
“It’s a long way when you have to relearn how to walk, talk, eat, sleep and breathe,” Wakefield said. Eventually, though, she beat the odds, and even played in the final women’s basketball game of the season for Multnomah University in 2018.
The other driver, Sequoyha Storck, who was 20 at the time, was driving at twice the posted speed limit and impaired by alcohol and a cocktail of other drugs, according to police. Storck fled the scene, leaving Wakefield for dead, and was not arrested until nine months after the crash.
In May 2019, he was convicted of assault, failure to perform the duties of a driver and DUII, and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Ana, who said she has forgiven the man who hit her, has inspired many with her faith and courage. It also caught the attention of a pair of Wisconsin filmmakers, who flew to the Wakefield family’s home in Mulino to film a documentary, Fight Like Ana, chronicling her remarkable journey to recovery.
“We wanted to show the world that tough things happen and you can overcome them but it changes you,” cinematographer Nathan Stevens said. “It changes the course of your life and you have to adapt.”
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