After surviving an aneurysm, subsequent stroke, and emergency surgery, Pate graduate Elicia Leal is now back to work as a high school athletic trainer at McKinney North High School.
Elicia’s career prior to her injury was impressive. As an elite athletic trainer, Elicia trained the U.S. Women’s Water Polo team and traveled to the 2004 Olympic Games, a position that she earned through a highly selective process. She also attended the 2003 Pan American Games as a trainer for women’s polo, and the U.S. men’s and women’s skiing teams. Her positive attitude and impressive recovery prompted the National Athletic Trainers’ Association to designate her as a cover star of its NATA News magazine in July.
During her rehabilitation, Elicia was surrounded by the support of loved ones. And she never lost the desire to resume her work as an athletic trainer, this time working with kids. Elicia Leal’s inspiring story has been featured in the McKinney Courier-Gazette, the Dallas Morning News, and on DFW’s local ABC affiliate, WFAA.
In her NATA feature, Leal shared these inspirational words:
“Every day I get to raise my head in the morning, put my feet on the ground and know “Hey, I’m alive,” that’s wonderful.”
Pate is honored to have been a partner in Elicia Leal’s recovery. We recently saw her at the DFW Walk for Brain Injury where she was out encouraging others and role modeling what it is to not just survive, but truly thrive.
Photo credit: Renee Fernandes