On January 15, Hannah Strom's mother, Gail, left home on a normal Wednesday morning to go to work at Verizon for her 8 a.m. shift. Today, nearly five months later, she'll finally return to her Marion home for the first time since that fateful day.

That morning at about seven o'clock, Gail texted Hannah a picture of their dog, Shannon, out on a walk. Hannah loved the picture and said "good morning" back. Gail never heard another word. That wasn’t like Hannah, but Gail thought they were just busy with getting ready for the first day of rowing.

Thirty-one minutes later, Hannah and 10 other members of the Holy Cross women's crew team were in a horrific accident in Vero Beach, Florida. One of those team members, 20-year-old star rower Grace Rett, was killed in the crash, while multiple other crew members were left seriously injured.

At 10 o'clock that morning, Gail went on her break and got the call every parent dreads.

"I left work, not sure how I drove home, and met up with my husband and son. We threw things together and caught the next flight to Florida. I haven’t been home since," Gail said.

Since that day, Hannah has undergone months of rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehab in Charlestown. Her father, Tom Strom, who owns Kool Kone in Wareham, says that Hannah spoke her first words since the accident just the other day.

Strom, who was able to visit his daughter for the first time in 11 weeks (due to hospital restriction because of COVID-19), said that Hannah repeatedly mouthed the words "I miss you" followed by "I love you" to him during his visit. Strom thinks that might have encouraged her to speak her first words since the accident. Four hours later, Hannah later said the words "Mom" and "David" to her speech therapist, in reference to her mother and brother.

Tom Strom called The Michael & Maddie Show on the way up to Spaulding today to finally bring his wife and daughter back home to Marion. He told Fun 107 that he has arranged a surprise for Gail and Hannah for when they arrive back at their hometown: the Marion Police Department will give the family a police escort down Front Street, where Tabor Academy (Hannah's alma mater) has decorated the school in their honor.

All of us here at Fun 107 welcome Hannah back home to the SouthCoast!

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