An app first alerted Becca Edmiston that her daughter Madalene, 15, was in danger. Becca\u2019s phone began buzzing as Madalene drove an ATV with a friend on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. When it swerved out of control and flipped three times, the Life360 app, which tracks locations and detects major collisions through a sensor, alerted her right away. \u201cWe were going down a dirt road, and going pretty fast, when it started to drift for a while,\u201d says Madalene, who lives in Columbus. \u201cI felt something hit my foot.\u201d When the Polaris finished flipping, it returned to an upright position, facing the opposite direction. Madalene looked down at her foot. \u201cI didn\u2019t have any toes,\u201d she recalled. Her friend wrapped up Madalene\u2019s bleeding foot. The two got back in the Polaris and drove back to the friend\u2019s house. This time Madalene was the passenger. She clung to her friend and said, \u201cI want my mom. I want my dad.\u201d It started to rain. Because of the app, Becca and James Edmiston were already on the way. They also called the friend\u2019s father to let him know something was wrong. Once the girls were back, he put Becca in the car and met her parents on the road. The Edmistons called the hospital and said they were on the way. When Becca saw Madalene, she was relieved. \u201cI was so glad to see her in one piece,\u201d Becca said. \u201cShe was alert but in pain. My gut instinct was that she would be OK.\u201d But Madalene asked her mother not to look at her foot. \u201cI had it wrapped in a shirt, and I wouldn\u2019t let anyone see it,\u201d said Madalene, who didn\u2019t want her parents to worry. Then, James told Madalene she would be taking her first helicopter ride. \u201cI was freaking out, I\u2019d never been in a helicopter before, but my dad was like, \u2018You\u2019re going to Memorial Hermann; it\u2019s a really great place,\u2019\u201d she recalled. The local hospital gave her pain medication but she needed to head into On RenewHouston.com: Meet the robot protecting coronavirus patients, first responders on Life Flight helicopters Houston for advanced surgery. Her parents drove the hour into town while she was in the air. \u201cJames and I followed, praying the whole way,\u201d Becca said. When Madalene arrived at the Houston hospital, her leg still bleeding, she burst into tears. \u201cI\u2019m going to stain your floor,\u201d she cried. They placed her in the hospital room and scheduled a surgery for early the next morning. \u201cI really didn\u2019t want to have surgery,\u201d Madalene recalled. \u201cI kept falling asleep. Then I woke up and they said, \u2018Your surgery is done.\u2019 It was like I took a quick nap and woke up.\u201d Dr. Lindsay Crawford, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children\u2019s Memorial Hermann, clearly remembers when Madalene came into the unit. \u201cObviously, this was a very serious injury,\u201d said Crawford, who performed Madalene\u2019s surgery. \u201cThere was a large, open wound. Essentially half of her foot was gone, and there was exposure to the environment. The first priority was to get in there and get everything clean, so she wouldn\u2019t get an infection.\u201d The first surgery was dedicated to removing dirt from the wound and draining fluid. \u201cFrom there, we\u2019re not really out of the woods,\u201d Crawford said. \u201cWe don\u2019t know everything yet. The second surgery is where I really looked at what was left of the foot and what we had to work with.\u201d She explained that Madalene actually had more bone left that muscle or skin. Doctors amputated half of the foot, removing enough bone to allow the plastic surgeon room for skin grafting. Then came a third surgery. Madalene\u2019s foot became the base she needed to wear a prosthetic. Because her ankle still worked, Crawford hoped Madalene would be able to function well after the operations. To Madalene, a devoted high school volleyball player, getting back on the court was a top priority. But first, Madalene had to heal in the hospital. \u201cI wanted to go home so badly,\u201d she said. \u201cI would cry.\u201d Then, her sister Katie, 20, visited. \u201cShe totally fixed everything,\u201d Madalene said. After a few days, the Edmistons returned home. \u201cI walked into my room and six of my friends had repainted it; they hung up my pictures,\u201d Madalene said. They also installed lights that change color and added new lamps. \u201cIt was so kind and generous,\u201d Becca said. \u201cIt was a wonderful gift.\u201d Her eighth grade class was close, and they spent the next day together celebrating her return. Before long, they would begin their freshman year virtually. In the meantime, it took a while for Madalene to actually look at her foot. \u201cI didn\u2019t want to see,\u201d she said. \u201cI didn\u2019t know if I could ever get used to it.\u201d Now, she jokes about it and affectionately refers to her \u201cnub.\u201d \u201cIt\u2019s cute,\u201d she said. On HoustonChronicle.com: Fearless Faith: Rappelling down a skyscraper to benefit barrier-free camp Madalene completed physical therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann. \u201cShe\u2019s very athletic, and we didn\u2019t want this to hold her back,\u201d Becca said. Madalene enrolled in swim team not long after she returned home. Then, she headed into volleyball tryouts in July. \u201cIt was hard,\u201d she said. \u201cWe had to run a mile. I ran one or two laps and started limping.\u201d Her parents wanted to do whatever they could to help. \u201cShe was so determined,\u201d Becca said. \u201cShe was not going to stop.\u201d Crawford told them about the ExoSym, a custom-made prosthetic device. \u201cMadalene wanted to function at a very high level,\u201d Crawford said. \u201cShe needed a prosthetic for everyday and then something else for volleyball and sports, to jump and pivot.\u201d There was only one problem \u2014 the ExoSym is available only in Gig Harbor, Wash. The Edmistons did not want to let distance stand in the way. While the waiting list was long, Becca told the folks at ExoSym, \u201cWe\u2019ll be there at the drop of a hat if you have a cancellation.\u201d And they did. The family made two trips to Washington in the beginning of August. Since school was virtual, Madalene did not have to miss any assignments. And now she has a prosthetic designed specifically for her. \u201cThat\u2019s made a huge difference,\u201d Becca said. Madalene returned to the volleyball court for the fall season, while also returning to in-person class on Sept. 12. \u201cTo go in as a freshman with a limp, that takes a lot of courage,\u201d Becca said. \u201cShe\u2019s still incredibly positive. She\u2019s very strong. She doesn\u2019t spend time feeling sorry for herself.\u201d Crawford saw her for a checkup a couple of weeks ago. \u201cWe cleared her to do whatever she wants,\u201d the surgeon said. \u201cShe\u2019s good to go now.\u201d Crawford said that Madalene recovered from the injury quickly. She credits her patient\u2019s positive attitude, surprising sense of humor and supportive friends and family. \u201cIt\u2019s hard to have something cosmetic like this happen at a young age,\u201d Crawford said. \u201cShe definitely had some tough days. There were some tears. But she\u2019s a very motivated person, very strong-willed.\u201d Those qualities play a pivotal role in the recovery process. \u201cIt\u2019s easy to fall into \u2018Why me?\u2019\u201d Crawford added. \u201cMadalene never said that. It was more about, \u2018How do I get back to playing volleyball?\u2019 From the start, she was able to laugh, and that makes all the difference. I expect big things from her.\u201d Madalene said having her friends and family by her side helped her stay strong. She also wanted to share some advice to others who might be in similar situations. \u201cIt\u2019s always going to be hard at first,\u201d she said. \u201cIn life, you have rough patches. You just have to focus on doing better. I focus on the good stuff.\u201d Lindsay Peyton is a Houston-based freelance writer.