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Lethbridge athlete loses foot in lawn mower accident: ‘This is not going to knock her down’

Click to play video 'Community rallies after Lethbridge College athlete loses foot' Community rallies after Lethbridge College athlete loses foot
A Lethbridge College soccer player is recovering in hospital after an accident over the weekend. Payden Olsen sustained extensive injuries while using a lawn mower and now her hometown of Cardston is fundraising to help during her recovery. Malika Karim has the story – Jul 30, 2018

News of a tragic accident in Cardston, Alta. spread to the family and friends of Payden Olsen over the weekend.

“I woke up to a voicemail from her brother Saturday morning and it was just complete shock,” Sean Carey, head coach of Lethbridge College Women’s Soccer, said.

Olsen was alone at her family home on Friday, mowing the lawn, when the mower drove over her feet.

“She was on a ride-on lawn mower and the lawn mower snagged something which resulted with her getting caught under the lawn mower with her feet,” Kylee Tolman, an Olsen family friend, said.

“She managed, luckily, to be able to call for help on her phone,” Carey explained.

“They rushed her to hospital here [Lethbridge] and then they transferred her to Calgary. So she’s up in Calgary right now in Foothills.”
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Olsen is a member of the Lethbridge Kodiaks soccer team, having just finished her first year at the college.

Due to her severe injuries, her right foot had to be amputated.

“They managed to be able to save some pieces from the right foot to put into her left foot to help reconstruction with that,” Carey said.

“Everything went really, really well.”

Community members are rallying around the Olsen family and have set up a fundraiser to help offset costs associated with hospital bills and Payden’s recovery.

“On Aug. 7, we’re doing a fundraiser for Payden,” Tolman said. “There’s going a community bake sale, there’s going to be some food trucks, there’s going to be a multi-family garage sale. We also are trying to get as many local vendor friends to help donate their things at the silent auction.

“Also, lots of the community is trying to get bottles and cash donations and whatever else that people can do in their means.”

Despite such a life-altering event, family and friends say Payden is in good spirits and already has a great attitude for what lies ahead.

“She already made comments that she can’t wait to get back on the field again,” Carey said.

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“This is not going to knock her down. She’s going to play soccer and basketball again. That’s the kind of person she is.”

With an outpouring of support, the Aug. 7 day-long fundraiser in Cardston will be hosted at Pharmasave located at 71 2nd Avenue West.