UTAH (ABC4) – 17-year-old Emily Traveller has returned home after spending months in a Colorado physical therapy clinic, recovering from an accident at the Little Sahara Desert sand dunes. Her parents say her resilience and bright spirit are what helped her heal during her recovery journey.

Just last week, the American Fork community came together to rally around Emily at a homecoming in her neighborhood. Family and friends lined the streets, wearing her favorite color, pink, and greeting her with signs. 

“I came home to a lot of support and people and my family, so it’s been really good to be back,” she said.

Emily loves cheerleading and gymnastics. She was at the Little Sahara Desert riding on an ATV with her friends when that ATV crashed and rolled, causing serious injury.

“I opened my eyes and couldn’t feel anything,” recalls Emily. “I was scared because I didn’t really know what my future was.”

Doctors told her parents she had broken her neck and likely wouldn’t be able to move her arms or legs again, but since then, she has regained movement in both arms. She says although there were hard days, she tried to set small goals and stay optimistic.

“My life is different now,” said Emily. “I haven’t changed, just learning a new way to live.”

Those around her say she’s a big inspiration to them.

“You can see it on her face, she’s gonna fight it to the end,” said her mother, Kari Traveller. “I think her positivity has helped heal her body.”

“She’s had such a good attitude, and she’s so happy and positive,” said Jon Traveller, her father. “That’s how she lives life. She was like that before the accident and she’s continuing to do that after.”

Emily just started her junior year at American Fork High School. She says she goes to physical therapy during the day and takes classes online during the evenings. Her high school will be dedicating this Friday’s game to Emily.

For those who want to follow Emily’s journey to recovery, her family has made a dedicated Facebook page for updates on her progress.