Lexington, NC -- Perhaps the only thing more stunning than Melanie Pell's recovery is her inspirational attitude.
The 17-year-old North Davidson High School senior was almost killed in a crash back in June.
It would have been easy for Mel to stop pushing and to feel sorry for
herself. But since the wreck on that unfamiliar Davidson County road --
since the night she, her car and the close friend riding with her
careened in to a tree -- Mel hasn't given up.
Last month, her family allowed us to be at the doctor's appointment when she tried to stand up for the first time in 90 days. The feeling as she hoisted herself out of her wheelchair was emotional and electric. Both Mel and her mom, who has been her caretaker since the crash, burst in to tears.
That was only the beginning.
Mel's cheered at Friday night football games from her wheelchair. She's struggled through dozens of physical therapy sessions. She's tried to be patient as her friends carried her belongings while she walked slowly to class.
"I just want to get up and walk places," Mel told me, "but I always have my boot on my leg and [I have to use] my walker. I mean, it's good, but it's a little bit frustrating also."
That's as agitated as you'll hear her get. The rest of her talk is about pure focus on returning to cheerleading and running track. And when she says it -- even from a wheelchair -- you believe it.
"I'm sure that I'm going to do something in track again this year," Mel said. "I'm not sure how competition cheerleading is going to go for me, but I'm hoping to get back in to it."
Mel's already competing in some things. During homecoming week, her classmates at North Davidson named her "Miss Veterans Day." On Friday, she and about a dozen other young ladies vied for title of "Miss Veterans Day Queen" at the Davidson County Veterans Council's beauty pageant.
I'd love to invite you to watch our story at 11 p.m. Tuesday to see what else happened during that pageant, how Mel's miraculous recovery is going and the changes that resulted at the curve where she crashed. You certainly will be inspired.