Valley girl to be honored by Phoenix Suns for her recovery from spinal cord injury

Mackenzie Saunders couldn't walk for nearly 1 year

AHWATUKEE, AZ - Tomorrow night US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix will be filled with basketball fans. Before the night is over they will probably be fans of Mackenzie Saunders as well.

Saunders and her doctor from Barrow Neurological Institute will be introduced before the game as honorary team captains to celebrate Mackenzie's miraculous recovery from a spinal injury.

"It's been a wild ride," said the 14-year-old from her back patio.

Four years ago Saunders was hurt during a Little League soccer game. 

Within days her spinal cord swelled causing severe nerve damage. 

For the next year Saunders was unable to walk. 

"I guess I could be mad but it wouldn't help anything," she said.

With constant help of physical therapy the teen is walking again and considered something of a medical miracle.

She still has a slight limp and has broken her ankle a couple of times getting used to defying gravity again. 

But Saunders says the best thing to come out of this situation was learning how to be grateful. 

"It has been rough but it all worked out in the end and that is what matters," she said.


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