#AvaStrong: How the Hannan community rallied around one of its own

"I never saw those three men again," Alexis said. "It's just God’s great miracle of saving us.”

March 28, 2018

Archbishop Hannan received a major scare in the closing days of February.

Hannan freshman, Alexis Dale, along with her sister Ava Dale and her dad Brandon Dale, were in a terrible car wreck with an 18 wheeler on February 28th.

The whole family was involved in the incident and while Alexis and her father sustained minor injuries, it was Alexis’ sister, 10-year-old Ava, who received the brunt of the almost deadly crash.

“There’s really no reasonable explanation on how we could’ve gotten out of such a smashed car. I remember these three men pulling my unconscious sister out of the car and me crawling behind her,” said Dale. “The next thing I remember is seeing my dad holding my screaming sister and blood everywhere.

The car Alexis, Ava and her father were riding in.

The crash

Alexis Dale said witnesses saw them run into an 18 wheeler where they then flipped three times.

She said she does not remember much, but she said somehow she and her family were removed from the car before an ambulance had gotten there.

“I never saw those three men again,” Alexis said. “It’s just God’s great miracle of saving us.”

Dale said not only did they smash into an 18 wheeler, but they also rear-ended her mom along with two other siblings. None of them were harmed, but she said her mom witnessed the entire thing.

Alexis and her dad were driven to Slidell Memorial, but Ava was flown to Metairie.

A close friend to the Dale family and also a sophomore at Archbishop Hannan, Gentry Spinks, was with the family at the hospital all that night.

Spinks said she got a call from Alexis around 10:30 p.m. She said she was freaking out and couldn’t think of anything besides knowing if her best friend’s family was okay or not.

Spinks went to the hospital and stayed there the entire night.

“When I got to the hospital I ran inside and asked to see Alexis Dale. When I saw her she had a neck brace and stitches in her right leg near her knee,” said Spinks. “I was in total shock when I got there and I couldn’t stop asking Alexis if she was okay or not.”

That night, Alexis and her dad were discharged from the hospital with only a few stitches and bruises.

Sarah Dufour (left), Alex Clessi, Kaitlyn Allen, Gentry Spinks and Alexa Dale (right), pose with the #AvaStrong T-Shirts Spinks made to support the family.

The recovery

Sadly, Ava Dale was not as lucky.

Ava had two broken arms, a sliced tongue, fractured bones along the right side of her face, a spinal fracture and so many more minor things. She is only 10 years old.

“She has been recovering, but for the first week she couldn’t move anything and she was up all night screaming in pain,” said Dale. “She was complaining about how she wanted everything to be over with and just wanted things to stop.”

Not only was Spinks supportive of the family just that night, but she helped the Hannan family get involved with helping the family.

Spinks had T-shirts and bracelets made that were sold in the school with all proceeds going toward Ava and her recovery.

“I, along with the help of our Hannan Family, raised more than $2000 that will go toward Ava and her family’s medical bills,” said Spinks.

Alexis said she was very thankful for how much both Hannan and Northlake had been supporting her family.

Northlake wore purple, Ava’s favorite color, at school one day to show support for the family.

Throughout it all, the Dale family has remained as strong and tough as ever – including Ava who hasn’t let her injuries change her personality.

“(Ava) is a strong girl because after being air lifted from the site and going through three surgeries she is still the same Ava,” said Spinks.

“She is a tough cookie and one that will be hard to break,” said Alexis.

1 Comment

One Response to “#AvaStrong: How the Hannan community rallied around one of its own”

  1. Priscilla Palazzalo on March 30th, 2018 9:01 am

    This is a great gesture for genuine love and true kindness from the heart. Such an outstanding example for others to follow. Everyone should be proud of the fine examples you girls have set! Jesus said “there is more happiness in giving and in receiving”. Never lose that quality!

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