Although she’s in Colorado, Clifford feels the love from Alaska

October 11, 2016

Lorrie Clifford

Lorrie Clifford

Six weeks after a vicious vehicle accident left her with major spinal cord injuries, Lorrie Clifford of Eagle River in working hard in physical training to get back to life.

Once an athlete, always an athlete, and her drive, discipline and desire that made her special on the athletic field is showing up when she needs it most.

The 25-year-old Team USA women’s rugby player and former college basketball standout is pushing the limit in her recovery at a long-term treatment center in Denver, Colorado.

“She usually gets on a regular tilt table to help her body get used to being upright again and getting some weight on her legs while trying to keep her blood pressure stable,” her mother Julia wrote on Clifford’s GoFundMe page.

“This tilt table is combined with the electric stimulation to get her legs moving.”

The Craig Hospital is exclusively dedicated to the specialty rehabilitation and research for patients with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

Clifford, of Chugiak High fame, fractured two vertebrae and suffered other spinal injuries after a car accident in mid-August in Honolulu, Hawaii, that put her in the Intensive Care Unit.

An all-around athlete known for her toughness and tenacity, Clifford was the first Alaskan named to the Women’s Eagles 7s rugby team in 2013 after a stellar four-year basketball career at Western Oregon University.

In high school, she was an all-state basketball and all-conference flag football player.

She works just as hard in rehab as she did on the sports field.

“Every day our girl works harder to meet her goals,” Julia wrote. “She loves the [functional electrical stimulation] bike and pushes herself to do better. Her right arm gets stronger all the time. The left one is trying to catch up.”

Clifford has other family and friends at her side.

“They help keep Lorrie’s spirits high,” her mom wrote. “She has had visitors every weekend and that brings a lot of support too.”

In the last month, Clifford’s GoFundMe page has raised close to $42,000.

“Thanks for all your continued support posts and prayers,” her mom wrote. “It all keeps Lorrie strong.”