The high school sophomore had been diagnosed with a mass in her abdomen, and underwent a long surgery at North Ottawa Community Hospital, according to Principal Tom Kapanka. The growth was determined to be benign, and she returned to school for a partial day Dec. 18.
Twenty-six classmates met her in the school entrance with a large green sign reading “Glad you’re back!” with signatures and notes from well-wishers.
Kapanka said the welcome speaks to a family bond in the small school community. Students designed ornaments in the days following Dec. 13, when senior Luke Anhalt collapsed on the basketball court with cardiac arrest. He was saved with automated external defibrillator (AED) treatments, and joined the basketball team at their game last week.
“Her future is probably altered as a result of the surgery, but she and her classmates will get through this trial just as the seniors and the basketball team, and the community, are praying for Luke,” Kopanka said.