NORTON, Ohio — Norton cheerleader Emma Pfouts received nationwide support on Valentine’s Day.
On Oct. 19, 2019, Emma was at the homecoming dance when she started struggling to breathe. A police officer watched as Emma walked to her car to grab her asthma inhaler, but as she returned to the building, the officer noticed the teen was in serious trouble. She never made it back inside.
Emma was placed in a medically-induced coma, and soon after waking up began swallowing, yawning and moving her eyes, as well as moving her hand. She is in physical therapy, has gotten her personality back and is communicating with her family and doctors. People from all over have been following her story ever since.
Emma’s mother Christina Weigand said the love her daughter has received reaches far beyond their Norton community.
The postman has made multiple trips to deliver entire bags full of Valentine’s Day well wishes for Emma.
The handmade cards have poured in from states across the country. Additionally, a local organization has stepped up to help other kids spending time in hospitals.
The “Giving Doll” organization has hand-crafted dozens of “Emma” dolls – one doll for each day Emma has been in the hospital.
The dolls will be donated to other children who need extra support.
Emma’s parents said the widespread show of compassion has helped Emma push through her recovery.
“When they brought in all the cards she had the biggest smile on her face,” Weigand said. “I think she didn’t realize the amount of support that she has and physically seeing all these cards, I think she is really now getting the scope of just how much her story has reached everybody.”