Randy Smith: Helping Hannah

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

A 16-year-old girl’s mind can be fully occupied. With academic classes, playing sports, boys, family and church on her plate, it leaves little if any time for anything else. That was the case last year for Coahulla Creek junior Hannah Locke. She spent all her time being a typical, active teenager, until one day in the spring. That’s when Hannah’s life changed.

She was involved in a serious automobile accident; one that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She would never again play basketball or any other sport, and her doctors told her and her parents that she would never walk again. Hannah and her dad, Kelvin Locke had other plans. “The doctors told us from the beginning that she would never walk again,” Mr. Locke said, “but we have faith in the Great Physician.”

When the basketball season started this past season, Hannah’s absence was felt greatly by the entire team, and head coach Ryan Long. “It had a big impact on our team,” Long said. “She was a great three-point shooter, an incredible leader and always did the right thing. Right after the accident happened, I was really down; we all were. But when we saw how Hannah was dealing with it, we accepted it. She told me, that she was fine with it.” 

Hannah became a Christian at an early age. She worked hard for the Lord and her church, but when she started high school, her priorities changed. “I put basketball at the top of my list. It became my biggest priority, but God had other plans for me,” Hannah said. “After the accident, I put God back on top, and I will serve Him by doing whatever He wants me to do.” 

Obviously during the first 16 years of her life, Hannah Locke developed a tremendous work ethic. She remains to this day, determined to prove her doctors wrong. She and her parents spent the entire month of February in Panama, as she underwent controversial stem-cell treatments. The treatments and her rehab there, (because stem-cell treatments are not legal in the United States) proved to be very costly; $42,000 to be exact. “We raised the money through donations and fund-raisers and I can’t thank people enough,” Kelvin Locke said. “But she’s determined, she’s not gonna quit.”

She shouldn’t quit. There is video on youtube and facebook showing Hannah actually moving her legs. With help from support straps, she can actually take a few awkward steps. She would like to return to Panama later this summer for another round of stem-cell treatments, but first more money needs to be raised. Hopefully a big fund-raiser on Sunday at North Murray High School in Chatsworth, Ga. will go a long way toward giving the Lockes what they need.

At 5 p.m. John Luke Robertson and his lovely sister Sadie Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” will appear along with music provided by Chris McDaniel, formerly with Confederate Railroad. Also performing will be Rachel Holder and Patton Locke.  General admission tickets may be purchased for $30 with floor seats selling for $60.

Hannah Locke has lived a lot in her 17 years on this earth. She has also been through a lot but she doesn’t consider herself to be handicapped or unfortunate at all. “I try to always keep a positive outlook, because no matter what has happened so far, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


UTC's Sean Boyle is SoCon Wrestler of Year

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Sean Boyle is the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Year, the league office announced today.  Boyle is ranked No. 8 in the nation at 125 pounds and is 27-5 overall. Boyle is the seventh student-athlete in UTC history to grab the SoCon Wrestler of the Year award, and the first since Cody Cleveland (2008-11) in 2009.  ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Central Punches Card For TSSAA's Big Dance

2 Killed In Hixson Pike Crash Wednesday Morning

Two people were killed in a Hixson Pike crash on Wednesday morning. At approximately  6:23  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 6600 Hixson Pike for a traffic crash.  Officers discovered that two vehicles collided head on.   One driver was pronounced deceased on scene.  The other driver was transported by HCEMS to a local ... (click for more)

Officer Whose Case Is Being Taken To The Grand Jury Resigns From Red Bank Police

A Red Bank officer whose alleged assault against a detainee is being taken to the Grand Jury has resigned. Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said he had accepted the resignation of Officer Mark Kaylor. The Hamilton County District Attorney General’s Office earlier said it has reviewed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report regarding Officer Kaylor and the case will ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)