Car crash victim receives free rehabilitation help

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A Lawton man's life was changed after an accident cost him his leg. The beginning of May, Shawn Pendergraf woke up in the hospital not knowing how he got there. Turns out in was in an accident near Chickasha on his way home from visiting family.

"The accident ended up resulting in a broken ankle broke my neck in 3 places, broke my left wrist, and lost my leg. My left leg was amputated above the knee," Pendergraf said.

He had 7 surgeries in about a week. After he was discharged, getting back to normal was difficult. He couldn't lift his hands over his head or get out of his wheelchair.

But family friends Jay and Roberta Parham saw a young man ready to get better.

"The first time we talked to him after the accident he was so positive," Roberta said. "Most people after losing a leg and all that would've said this is the end and I can't live. He wasn't like that. He was ready to move on with his life."

They asked their personal trainer Cherry Phillips, owner of Fit For Life, to take him on and give him the rehabilitation he couldn't afford.

"She was like I believe God told me to help you so I'm going to do all this for free. I'm going to take you on and we're going to get you recovered," Pendergraf said.

The Parhams and others who train at Fit for Life help pay for any extra sessions Pendergraf needs for his recovery as well.

After a few weeks of training, Phillips said she had one of the most emotional sessions with Pendergraf.

"He came in one day and he said look at this. And he raised that arm up like this because he had been doing some exercise at home," Phillips said. "Tears were rolling down his face and I began to have tears rolling down my face."

Pendergraf said he wants his life since the crash to be a learning experience for all.

"A lot of people always tell me that I was having a bad day and I was going through something until I've seen what you are overcoming. That's definitely it. Don't let life knock you down," Pendergraf said.

He says he has looked into many programs to help him get a prosthetic leg, and is hoping he will get one soon to increase his mobility.

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