Teen returns to sports after losing arm in ATV crash

Mid-South

BATESVILLE, Ark. (NewsNation Now) — A small town in Northeast Arkansas is home to a teen with a remarkable story of losing an arm and turning that tragedy into an inspirational story. 

On March 29, 2020, Bella Floyd was riding all-terrain vehicles with her friends when there was an accident.  The ATV crashed and Bella was trapped underneath, her arm was crushed.

“The pain was almost unbearable,” she said.

With the help of friends, Bella was able to get free, but her arm would never be the same.

“I had to hold it because it was badly injured,” she added.

When she made it to the hospital, doctors decided to amputate the arm.

Bella said it was what she expected. “When it happened, I knew that that was going to be the outcome, so I think I was already prepared for that to be the news.” 

She said after the accident she remembered a prayer, she asked God for a lifelong story. “I believe this was a gift, something for me to use to help people,” she said. “Showing people that they can do anything, no matter what happens to them, and they can overcome any obstacle.” 

Then Bella started physical rehabilitation and was fitted for a prosthetic.

Shortly after that, she started working out. And months after the accident she made her way back to playing high school sports.

“I figured that there would be some kind of comeback and that we would find a way to get her back on the court to play volleyball,” said Bella’s volleyball coach, Margie McGee.

She also picked up a second sport.

“The first time we ever hit she was really good,” said her tennis coach, John Shellenberger.

Bella is aiming at the Arkansas state tennis tournament and is currently traveling the country with her volleyball team.

At a recent tournament, McGee said she had to take a moment to realize what Bella is accomplishing.

“It just kind of hit me, it was overwhelming for me.  Just to think that she was on the court after everything she was gone through the last 10 months,” said McGee.

Shellenberger agrees. “I’m pretty sure I get more out of helping her than she gets from the help from me,” he said.

“When the other kids I teach say ‘I can’t do that’, I say, ‘No, no, no, no, let’s talk about Bella for a minute.” 

Inspiring other teens after losing her arm in an accident is exactly Bella’s goal. “That’s the part of what keeps me going, is to inspire others, and to help them overcome their obstacles,” she said.

“She’s unlike any other human being I’ve ever known; the pride is off the charts. She’s done it with grace and courage like I’ve never seen, ” said Bella’s mom, Nicole.

As for taking back the accident and having her arm again, Bella has always said she would change anything.

“I just love it, and I love everyday,” she said.

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