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Prom held at rehab facility for Mountain View student seriously injured in car accident

Mountain View High junior Abbie Williamson, standing third from right, is with her friends last week during a prom in her honor at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Williamson is recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered in February during a car crash. (Special Photo)

Mountain View High junior Abbie Williamson, standing third from right, is with her friends last week during a prom in her honor at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Williamson is recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered in February during a car crash. (Special Photo)

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Abbie Williamson

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Mountain View High junior Abbie Williamson, middle, stands with her family last week during a prom in her honor at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Williamson is recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered in February during a car crash. (Special Photo)

Sitting in a hospital room was not the way Abbie Williamson wanted to spend what should have been her high school prom night.

So once a therapist heard about her wishes, Williamson would soon witness the latest outpouring of support from the Mountain View High and Lawrenceville communities.

Williamson, a junior at Mountain View, was critically injured in a car accident on Feb. 25 when she attempted to drive out of her neighborhood. With her view blocked by a school bus, she left the neighborhood and was hit in her Honda Civic on the driver’s side by a sport utility vehicle.

A dual enrollment student, Williamson was on her way to afternoon classes at Georgia Gwinnett College, but instead was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

The collision left Williamson with a broken pelvis in two places, which has since healed, and a diffuse axonal injury, a type of traumatic brain injury. In the beginning, her prognosis was questionable. When she walked for the first time in six weeks, her mother, Mary Beth, called it a joyous day and a time to celebrate.

The next time to celebrate was Friday when about 80 people from the Mountain View community, Williamson family friends and Shepherd staff attended a prom specifically for Williamson to make up for the prom she missed.

“I thought it was a great idea because Abbie’s missed so much of the activites at school and she’s been so involved,” Mary Beth said. “This would be a nice way to re-introduce her back to her friends, because she’s doing so well and we’re so grateful to the whole Mountain View-Lawrenceville community. The prom is just a part of what the whole community has done in standing behind us and supporting Abbie.”

Eight weeks after her family didn’t know if she’d be able to talk, walk or laugh, she participated in a daddy-daughter dance at the prom. An Atlanta disc jockey, “Johnny D,” donated his services, and a tapas bar restaurant provided catered food for the event.

Williamson and her best friend, Taylor, have a bow-making business, and those bows were among a host of decorations worn or displayed around school and the family’s neighborhood since the accident. Sports teams at Mountain View wrote her initials on shoes, helmets and golf balls, and the message “pray for Abbie Williamson” spread through the hashtag “#P4AW.”

Along with organizing fundraisers and meals, neighbors in The Fielding subdivision displayed big yellow bows throughout the area off Ga. Highway 124.

Her therapists have been amazed at Williamson’s progress, and her mother said the next step is to be discharged from the Shepherd Center on Tuesday and begin rehabilitation five days a week for six hours each day.

For more information on upcoming community events to support the family, visit www.abbiewilliamson.com or the Caring Bridge site by searching “Abbie Williamson.”