Seventh Surgery Gives Woman Whose Head Was Crushed by Teens a New Skull

AP Photo/Ralph Wilson
AP Photo/Ralph Wilson

The Ohio woman whose head was smashed by a large rock thrown by teens from a highway overpass is preparing for a seventh surgery which she hopes will give her a new “custom made skull.”

In July of 2010, Sharon Budd, a language arts teacher at the Perry Local School District in Stark County, Ohio, was traveling through Union County, Pennsylvania, on I-80 when a group of teens threw a large rock from an overpass down onto the highway.

The rock smashed through the windshield of her family car and impacted into her head, causing her severe brain damage and destroying her skull.

The teens claimed they threw the rock as a “joke” and have since been tried as adults for the criminal act.

Mrs. Budd has undergone numerous surgeries to repair the massive damage and is also undergoing therapy to help her recover her life. And now, she is looking at a seventh surgery, one that is meant to replace her destroyed skull.

In a Facebook post to her supporters, the Budd family posted a new update eleven months into her ordeal.

Sharon is amazing! She is upbeat, positive, and has a great sense of humor. She is simply an inspiration! Considering what happened to Sharon, we are so grateful each and every day for her presence. I love her deeply!

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster as you might imagine. I get choked up when I see photos prior to her injury, I get so emotional when I think about how the kids lost the mom they once knew. She so much wants to be the caregiving wife, mom, daughter, and teacher that she used to be. She wants to drive the car, take care of others, she wants to teach her students, and be independent. But she at some level understands what happened and accepts the life she was dealt. I don’t know how she stays so positive and strong. I guess I shouldn’t question her strength; she is the strongest person I know. She is #Buddstrong!!!!

The remainder of the month will be very intense for Sharon and the family. On June 23rd, there will be a pre-trial for the four young men involved at 10:00am at the Lewisburg courthouse. This crime was so unfortunate and senseless!!!. I realize everybody is busy, but please support Sharon on that day, even with just thoughts and prayers.

I just got word today that Sharon will have her 7th surgery on June 26th at Geisinger. She will have a custom made skull put in to protect the areas not protected which is her forehead and right side of head. They also have to do work around her right eye to help shape it more appropriately to avoid future complications. Once again they will cut her ear to ear and shave her head. It’s always scary when these major surgeries take place. Please pray for a successful outcome, as her recoveries are getting tougher and tougher.

Our family is so grateful for the unbelievable support you have shown for Sharon. THANK YOU!!!

The Facebook post is signed by the whole Budd family.

The teens who threw the rock at her car are scheduled to appear in court on June 23. One opted to immediately plead no contest and is already serving his sentence.

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