Injured rower Hannah Strom returns home to Marion
MARION — Hannah Strom, a Marion resident, former Tabor Academy day student and Holy Cross College student who was involved in a serious accident in January, returned home on June 3 to a surprise parade. Her car was led by Marion Police down Front St, while hundreds of people gathered on both sides to welcome her back after she was discharged from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this day,” said Patti Strom, one of Hannah’s aunts who attended the parade.
On Jan. 15, Strom was involved in a serious accident while training with her rowing team in Florida. The team’s van collided with a pickup truck, killing Strom’s teammate Grace Rett and injuring the other coaches and passengers.
For the last 139 days, Hannah was in medical care, starting in the Intensive Care Unit in Florida, then at Massachusetts General Hospital and finally at Spaulding, where she remained from Feb. 11 until today.
Through extensive physical therapy, Hannah is now able to walk and talk again.
“She’s made tremendous progress, and Spaulding has just been incredible,” said Diane St. Pierre, one of the organizers of the parade. She said that Hannah still has more recovering to do, but she’s home.
The Strom family, owners of Kool Kone in Wareham, drove through Marion together, flanked by Marion police officers in front and behind them. Thomas closed the drive-in temporarily so that he can finally see his daughter.
Red and purple hearts (the colors of Tabor and Holy Cross) flooded the streets of Marion starting all the way at the town’s I-195 exit with a display of hearts on the bridge. Every building in the village was accented with hearts, people stuck heart stickers to their face masks and a giant “welcome home” sign adorned the Strom’s front yard.
Isabelle Reid and Danielle Plunkett have been close friends with Hannah since their time at Tabor and wanted to make sure they were there for the momentous occasion.
“It’s a big sigh of relief for the family,” Reid said. She drove all the way from Fisher’s Island in New York to see Hannah home.
“She just worked so hard to make progress,” Plunkett said.
Lisa Villa, a librarian from Holy Cross, drove 70 miles with her daughters Katie and Caroline to welcome Hannah back.
She said the college was “shattered” the day the news of the accident came in.
Villa is friends with the Rett family, and her sister was in Florida and was driving Strom family members to and from the airports after the accident. She gave updates to Villa throughout the entire situation, so she has followed Hannah’s recovery from the very beginning.
“I’m filled with such joy and amazement at her strength,” Villa said as she fought back tears.
She said Holy Cross is truly a family and looks forward to the day when Hannah can be invited back to campus.
Bill Strom, one of Hannah’s uncles, said she is a “walking miracle” and he is filled with happiness and relief that his niece is home in Marion once again.
Welcome home Hannah!