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7-year-old sled crash victim returns home

Ellie Mitchem greeted with hugs and a car parade
Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 9:22 PM EDT
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CASPIAN, Mich. (WLUC) - “Welcome home, Ellie!” Those were the words heard all around the town of Caspian Saturday afternoon, as 7-year-old Ellie Mitchem finally returned home. Dozens of people and a whole line of cars drove by the Mitchem Family residence to show support for Ellie, filling her mother, Brianna, with emotion.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Mitchem said. “I try not to cry, but we all know I failed.”

In March, Ellie was seriously injured after crashing into a tree while sledding. As a result, she had to go through 19 surgeries at a hospital in Wisconsin, with the 18th ending with part of her right leg amputated After two long months, Ellie was greeted with hugs and struck by all of the support.

“It felt good because I missed my family,” Ellie said.

Led by the Caspian police and fire departments, vehicles slowly motored down E. Second Street in parade fashion, with signs hanging out saying “Ellie Strong” and “Welcome home, Scooter!”

“My mom had the plan to do it, and then she coordinated with everyone else,” Brianna Mitchem explained. “Honestly, it was just an amazing feeling that they all wanted to welcome my daughter home.”

The whole family was thankful for all of those who attended, with Brianna having this to say about Ellie.

“Nothing’s going to hold her back,” she stated. “I want to see her go as far as she can in life and hit every goal she has.”

There were cheers and tears of joy around the neighborhood -- and one heartwarming message: Welcome home, Ellie Mitchem!

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