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Mother hopeful for teen daughter who survived Indiana river accident where 2 friends died

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FRANKLIN, Indiana — A teenage girl who nearly drowned in a central Indiana river where two friends died isn't able to talk and is confined to a bed at her family's home more than four months after her rescue.

Bobbi Hubbard said she cries some days about her daughter Sarah McLevish's condition, but she's not giving up hope for her further recovery from the brain injury she suffered in the June 6 accident in the Big Blue River at Edinburgh. The 16-year-old spent 11 weeks in hospitals before being moved to her Franklin home in August.

"I don't plan for her to stay like she is," Hubbard said. "My expectations are way high for her and I think that's what's helped me to keep pushing and keep pushing her."

Hubbard has taken a leave from her job and spends her days handling her daughter's care, including administering medications and stretching the girl's limbs twice a day. Hubbard said she sees her daughter becoming more aware of sounds and responding more.

"She is able to hold her head up a little bit longer on her own and then her alertness has improved, too," Hubbard told WTHR-TV (http://bit.ly/1sccp1v ). "It's the little things."

Jason Moran, 17, and Michael Chadbourne, 16, died while trying to rescue McLevish after she was swept over a small dam while a group of friends from Franklin Community High School swam together in the river about 30 miles south of Indianapolis. Two other friends safely escaped.

Hubbard said she appreciates support her family has received, including from people with whom she's connected through a Facebook page dedicated to her daughter that has nearly 9,000 followers.

Members of the Franklin Memorial Christian Church helped build a ramp and deck at the family's home to accommodate McLevish's wheelchair. A fundraising motorcycle ride is planned for Saturday to help pay for medical expenses.


Information from: WTHR-TV, http://www.wthr.com/

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