Hannah Strom Updates Us Three Years After Horrific Holy Cross Crew Accident
Sunday, Jan. 15, marked three years since a horrific Holy Cross Rowing accident.
It didn't take place on the water. Instead it occurred down on a roadway in Vero Beach, Florida, as the team van was involved in a deadly crash that killed 20-year-old Grace Rett from Uxbridge and injured a number of her other 10 teammates, including Hannah Strom from Marion.
With the love of her family and the community, Hannah continues her remarkable comeback. Where is she now on her journey? We caught up with her and her parents Tom and Gail Strom, owners of Kool Kone in Wareham.
How Hannah Strom Acknowledged the Three-Year Anniversary
"We went up to Charlestown for a rowing class with my parents, then hit a few of our favorite restaurants in the North End," Hannah said. "We took a walk down the boardwalk and ended up at Spaulding (Rehab). It was kind of full circle to end up back there."
The family says they try to keep busy to keep their minds on something else. Hannah told us that this year's anniversary hit a little harder because she can better understand the scope of what happened.
These two pictures were taken three years apart. The one on the left is Hannah's brother David by her side in Florida the day of the accident. The picture on the right was Hannah strolling the North End on Sunday evening.
Hannah Strom Back at School
"I'm taking a few classes at the Plymouth campus of Quincy College," Hannah said. "I'm taking some prerequisites right now, but I'm hoping to start the physical therapist assistant's program this fall."
Tom has been driving Hannah to and from those classes in Plymouth. In the three classes she took last semester, Hannah earned an A and two Bs.
Helping Patients at Spaulding Rehab
For the past two summers, Hannah has shared her story with Spaulding Rehab patients who are going through similar struggles that she had in the years after her accident.
She is finding the work very rewarding.
In Memory of Grace Rett
Three years later, a boat named after Grace Rett, the Amazing Grace Rett, is at Vero Beach Rowing Club. At Grace's elementary school in Uxbridge, Our Lady of the Valley, there is now a brand new athletic complex called The Grace Center, the school's first athletic facility.
Three years from now Hannah hopes to be working somewhere as a physical therapist's assistant. She would also like to continue to compete in rowing. Last fall, for the second consecutive year, Hannah competed in the CRI Fall Classic with the Worcester Boat Club on the Charles River in Boston. The initial plan was to take Hannah out on the water and simply have her ride along in the boat during practices, but Hannah wouldn't have it.She pulled her own weight and earned a spot with the team at the regatta.
Hannah's Advice for Someone Who is Struggling
"There's always hope. Even when you don't think there is any. It's crazy to look back on pictures of where I was three years ago. I didn't even know what was going on or where I was. I was truly at rock bottom when I was a patient at Spaulding, but it always goes up from there."