Serious crash victim finds joy through painting

Serious crash victim finds joy through painting
Hannah Croker
Hannah Croker
Mandy Fagiano
Mandy Fagiano

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Baconton teen who's now a quadriplegic after a serious crash is finding joy through a paint brush.

The experience has brought her joy and created a special bond for two people.

With each stroke, 14-year-old Hannah Croker creates her own masterpiece.

"I like doing squiggles to see what they turn into. And try to see what paint colors go together. And if I can I'll do some type of design,” Croker said.

Mandy Fagiano, Phoebe Putney's Child Life Specialist, began working with Hannah a few months ago.

"She came in at first and you could tell she was down, she was depressed, felt like her life was at a standstill. And now she's just excited and in a better mood and always happy. It's been great to see her come to life," said Fagiano.

A life that was forever changed six months ago, Hannah was critically injured in a crash that left her in a wheelchair.

At first, the Baconton teen brushed off the idea of painting with her mouth.

She said, "A stick in your mouth...what would you think? It would be kind of weird and very hard to do."

But countless paintings later, she has taken the challenge head on.

“It's been really neat to see her mood change, going from not really having anything to do in the hospital to now, she's painting, she's selling artwork and it's just really neat to see her excited,” said Fagiano.

While she can't do many things teenage girls like to do, painting has given her a new outlook on life.

And it's also created a life changing bond.

"I think she's really changed my life, in the long run," Croker said.

"She's the first person that's really given me this joy, because you feel like you have made a difference,” said Fagiano.

Hannah now signs her paintings with her thumbprint, but one day hopes to sign her name.

"My goal is to one day be able to stand up. But yeah, that too," she said.

Hannah is selling her paintings to raise money for supplies at the hospitals she's stayed and for some special equipment for her.

There has been a Facebook group created for her, called “Prayers for Hannah.”

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