Never give up: The words that drive an inspiring wheelchair-bound Hemphill Middle School cheerleader to success

HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - A tragic accident more than 8 years ago rocked a Hemphill girl's world and left scars that would never heal.

But even now in a wheelchair, Abigail Adkins leaps over every hurdle placed in her path with a smile on her face and determination in her eyes.

Abby Adkins was just 4-years-old when she, her mother and 1-year-old brother were in a serious car accident.

Abby was the sole survivor of the crash, which took more than just her family from her.

"They came out and told us she would never walk again and that was probably the most traumatic thing you know we were so happy she was with us but we hated that for her," said Gia Boyd, Abby's Aunt.

And less than a year latter Abby Suffered another devastating loss when her father died of heat stroke.

Now faced with many major surgeries plus years of therapy and rehab, Abby was an orphan.

She was a little girl who lost everything but let nothing stand in her way.

"When she sets her mind to something she's going to find a way, said Boyd. "She's going to make it happen."

"I want to be more than just in a wheelchair," said Abby Adkins. "I want to be bigger than that. Stronger than that. I mean if you're in a wheelchair…it's hard for you. You can't do a lot of things that regular people do. You don't feel normal but it can help you also to make you stronger."

And Abby's wheelchair hasn't stopped her from doing anything, including becoming a cheerleader at Hemphill Middle School.

Abby's cheerleading coach Sunny Whittington says, "This was not just oh let's put Abby on the cheer squad, Abby made the cheer squad and I want everybody to understand that. She did a fantastic job at tryouts and she's a fantastic little cheerleader."

"The only thing she can't do are the jumps and whenever she tried out that was the only thing she could not do so she received no points for that but everything else that she did was so phenomenal that she made the score to make cheerleader," said Whittington.

"I don't do none of the moves for my legs but I do all of them from my arms and I'm just like everyone else," said Adkins.

In spite of everything she's been through Abby's motto is: Never Give Up.

"I never give up and I just try my best," said Adkins.

"She wants to be able to do everything that everybody can do and she does," said Whittington.

Hemphill Middle School nurse, Cecily Bridges has been working with Abby since she came back to school following the accident and says, "She can do anything that she wants to in her future. I don't think being in a wheelchair is going to change that any."

And Abby's talents don't end with cheerleading, she's an exceptional student. She plays volleyball, competes in UIL events and has no plans on stopping.

"She's definitely an inspiration for anybody who needs inspiring," said David Boyd, Abby's Uncle.

"She's going to set the world on fire one day," said Whittington.

"I think she's going to succeed in anything that she does and if anything is in her way it doesn't matter she's going to do it," said Codie Pitre, Abby's best friend.

Abby says she still remembers walking and running but chooses not to dwell on the past.

"Well some parts its better, some parts its worse like the walking," said Adkins. "I can't play soccer or I can't play baseball or softball but there are some good things too that I met some fantastic people and it's helped me be a stronger person."

But perhaps Abby's best friend Codie Pitre says it best, "Abby's awesome. That's all I can say."

Abby's ambition doesn't stop with being a jewel in Hemphill. She wants to go to Texas A&M and aspires to be a veterinarian.

Until then, she's being screened for the gifted and talented program at school.

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