Madi McCluskey, in pink rainboots, poses with the first responders who helped her and her friend after they were hit by a car Oct. 5. (Courtesy St. Paul School)
Madi McCluskey, in pink rainboots, poses with the first responders who helped her and her friend after they were hit by a car Oct. 5. (Courtesy St. Paul School)
EUGENE — It’s not every day that a miracle happens in your school. This year, St. Paul School here is celebrating the life of 7-year-old second-grader, Madi McCluskey. Her story is miraculous.

On Oct. 5,  Madi was crossing the street with a friend near her Springfield home. They looked both ways and waited for a car heading north to pass them. Unfortunately, neither girl saw the car heading south on the same street. At about 5 p.m. the car struck both girls. The driver, a 16-year-old girl who’d recently gotten her license, was doing everything right.

“She was driving safely and responsibly. This was simply a freak accident,” said Madi’s father, Jesse McCluskey.

Every moment after the accident has been miraculous. According to Jesse, everything fell into place. “Our guardian angels were definitely watching over of us that day,” he says.

His neighbor was there to help him perform CPR within 90 seconds. The emergency medical technicians and ambulance crew were there within five minutes, and Madi was in the emergency room within 10 minutes.

When Madi needed to be transferred to Portland, bad weather unexpectedly cleared, and a helicopter was able to pick her up for emergency transport. She was at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital within 90 minutes of being struck by a car going 40 miles per hour.

The McCluskeys alerted St. Paul School of the accident and the school community began praying.

“Mrs. Braud was amazing,” Jesse McCluskey says of the school’s principal, Kelli Braud. “As soon as she heard what happened, she was ready to hop in her car and come help us. It was really comforting to know that they were prepared to drop everything and be there for us.”

Several things about how the school reacted to Madi’s accident reminded the McCluskeys why they chose to be a part of the St. Paul family.

“No matter which school Madi was attending, we would expect her class to make her cards and send little gifts. But at St. Paul, every grade made her cards,” says Jesse McCluskey. “The older grades even made cards for the first responders and ER nurses.”

Many teachers and staff members made the trip to Portland to visit Madi and offer their help to the family.

“Mrs. (Kelly) Hughes (vice-principal) took special time to create a plan for Madi’s re-entry to school. It was truly a seamless thing for us, and she made it so easy,” Jesse McCluskey said.

Madi didn’t break any bones, but she suffered major head injuries. She spent 13 days in Portland hospitals. Madi’s recovery has been quick and, many think, miraculous. She was cleared by her doctors to resume her full school schedule including PE and recess on Nov. 28.

“Through the power of prayer and faith, Madi has made a full recovery, and we share in the joy of celebrating her life,” says a statement from the school.

Madi’s friend had a serious concussion and has since made a full recovery as well.