A Grove lifeguard is counting her lucky stars, after an accident at the pool left her only with stitches.
On Wednesday, July 26, Hannah Dinesen was one of several lifeguards working an after-hours party at the Grove City Pool.
During a break, shortly after 8 p.m., Dinesen said she was doing backflips into the deep water, near the lifeguard stand.
Dinesen, who was wearing a life jacket at the time, said she was using a technique students often use when learning to do backflips - one she's seen done numerous times.
On her third backflip, something happened. Dinesen said she "fully rotated" but landed back where she was standing, striking her nose and forehead on the side of the pool.
Dinesen said she was stunned by the impact. Fellow lifeguards Kayse Stidham, Kali Hammock and Luke Hammock, were by her side within seconds, helping to get her strapped to the backboard and out of the water.
Dinesen said she remembers Paul Brixey, whom she describes as one of the "pool parents", helping her remove the life jacket, as Justin Sanders used the "red button" - the emergency call button, to summon members of the Grove Emergency Medical Services.
Dinesen said it was the first time in at least seven years the red button was pushed and the backboard utilized in a non-training event.
Dinesen, the 2015 graduate of Grove High School, was taken to INTEGRIS Grove Hospital, where she received treatment for a broken nose, lacerations and a concussion.
More than 20 stitches later, she was back on inside, light duty on Saturday, July 29, grateful for those who provided a helping hand on Wednesday.
"I'll probably never do a backflip in my life again," Dinesen said.
Stidham said the incident happened quickly.
"It could have happened to any kid," Stidham said. "Kids do [backflips] all the time. Now we've made a rule, no more back flips off the side."
A report, filed by lifeguards concerning the incident, was not available as of press time.
Helping a friend
Stidham, along with both Luke and Kali Hammock, surprised Dinesen announcing plans for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, at COS (Church of the Shepherd), Grove.
Tickets will be $10 for adults, and $5 for children five and under. The trio are also organizing a dessert auction as well.
Stidham joked the trio had the fundraiser organized before Dinesen left the emergency room.
The fundraiser is designed to help Dinesen not only raise funds to help with medical expenses, but also show support for a friend.
"I want people to know Hannah is an extremely hardworking woman who can overcome any task," Luke Hammock said. "However, at times like these, it takes everyone coming together to get [someone] back on their feet."
Luke Hammock said the group set a goal to raise "as much money as possible."
"We're only hoping for the best," Luke Hammock said. "We [want] others to see how quick everyone can come together to achieve something greater than themselves.
"That's typically a major perk of living in a small town, though. Everyone is willing to go out of their way for someone they love."
Luke Hammock said the trio hopes Dineson knows how much people care for her, as she juggles life responsibilities.
"She needs the love and support from others to bring her back up," Luke Hammock said. "And that's exactly what we're going to do!."
More about Dinesen
Dinesen graduated in May from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M with her associates degree. She plans to start nursing school at NEO on Aug. 12, while also pursuing a second degree in business administration.
She is attending school while juggling responsibilities as a single mom to her 11-1/2-month-old son, Hansen. In addition to working at the pool, Dinesen is also employed at the Grand Lake Family YMCA, and at the Grove Public Library.
Want to help?
For more information about the dinner, or to help, persons interested may contact Kali Hammock at 918-801-8682, Luke Hammock at 918-791-4997 pr Stodja, at 918-791-4239.