Real Resilience 

Carinne Henderson Is Fighting Her Way Toward Recovery After a Devastating Accident

Writer / Julie Yates
Photography Provided

Carinne HendersonThe Henderson family of Sharpsville exemplifies unwavering faith, perseverance and the refusal to ever give up. On June 5, 2020, Tri-Central High School graduate Carinne Rin” Henderson was riding a motorcycle when she was stuck by an impaired driver. The accident caused multiple injuries, which may need the expertise of professionals such as In her two-year recovery journey, Craig and Quincy Henderson have tirelessly sought out every possible means to bring their daughter back to health. Behind them is the support of the community, which includes their friends, family, church, the Tipton County Sheriffs Office, former Franklin College teammates and countless others who have extended helping hands. 

At the time of the accident, Carinne was on summer break between her freshman and sophomore year at Franklin College, where she was on the womens basketball team. She was on her way to the home of her high school coach, Lindsey Sorensen. Her husband, two sons and Carinne were going to take her out for a birthday dinner. That summer she was working at the General Motors plant in Kokomo, assembling ventilators. In the past she had worked at Harley-Davidson in Kokomo where she sold clothing and merchandise. She had been intent on her recent motorcycle purchase. 

I tried everything to talk her out of buying the motorcycle but she already had her license,” Craig Henderson says. “Life can change with the snap of a finger. You really dont understand what you have to go through when dealt a hand like this. The first person at the accident scene was her dentist, Dr. Christopher Hulen. It appeared she wasnt breathing or had a pulse. She was broken from head to toe. She had broken femur and humerus bones, broken ribs, a broken hip, and a broken wrist and knee.”

Carinne was transported to the local hospital. Since COVID-19 mandates were in place, the Hendersons could not enter the hospital. They sat in their car in the parking garage and called for updates. It was determined that emergency surgery was needed to stop internal bleeding. After surgery was over, the family was allowed to see her for 10 minutes. 

In the neuro critical care unit, the doctor told us that Carinne was the sickest person in the entire hospital and they were not sure she would make it,” Henderson says. “The neurologist on duty told us she would never wake up. Quincy said to the doctor, Its not all about science.We asked them to figure out what they could do.” 

Carinne HendersonEight days passed before the Hendersons were allowed to see Carinne again. During that time they called the hospital every four hours and kept a journal. The family reached out to the community through Quincys Facebook page to ask for prayers. 

When we finally saw her, she looked a fright,” Henderson says. “She was dealing with a traumatic head injury and they put a drain in her head to relieve the pressure. We had a team of doctors who made the rounds and talked to us every day. We could tell Carinne knew we were there. One phenomenal nurse said, ‘Carinne, wiggle your fingers and toes. Open your eyes.Then she did.”

From there, Carinnes work toward healing took off. She spent 33 days at IU Health Methodist Hospital, 30 days at Ascension St. Vincent Seton, and 35 days at Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. Henderson is a former Tipton County sheriff, and when Carinne was able to come home, the sheriffs department gave the family an escort from the county line.      

At that point we realized Carinne couldnt learn to walk again until her knee was fixed,” Henderson says. “In December 2020 her Achilles heel was fixed and then she had reconstructive knee surgery in February 2021. Carinne has amazing determination. Shes walking with a walker and has begun to go to church. She can now stand up for the hymns. She has gained mobility of her broken right arm. Her eyesight is better, and her speech is slow but clear. Her cognitive ability is back to about 85%. She has even given a talk to a group of girls on the importance of staying positive, paying it forward and never giving up. We will keep working until she is back to 100%.”

The Hendersons are completely dedicated to fully healing Carinne. They turned a cattle barn into a rehab facility that includes a stair stepper and a stationary bike. Swimming and music therapy are also part of her ongoing treatment plan. She travels to Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana two times per week, participates in red-light therapy four times per week, and goes to Compete Training Academy four times per week. 

Carinne HendersonCarinne is the hardest-working being I have ever worked with, ever,” says Courtney Moses Delks, a trainer at Compete Training Academy. “I count it all joy to have the opportunity to help Carinne in her growth of spirit, mind and body. I believe that she will walk and run on her own because of her determination and the work of a higher power in her.”

Dr. Patrick Siparsky, an orthopedic surgeon at IU Health Methodist Hospital, agrees. I have never seen such resilience from a patient or a family in my career,” he says. “By all accounts, Carinne should have died. Its a miracle but it didnt just happen. You have to understand that this girl and her family have never stopped pushing for new, innovative ways for her to get better, and Carinne does it all with a smile on her face. Nothing slows her down.”

As the Hendersons go forward, they welcome the continued prayers of the community. Carinne loves visitors and enjoys receiving encouraging cards. Send cards and letters to the Hendersons at 381 West 500 North, Sharpsville, Indiana 46068.

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