Maggie Meier was a sharpshooter on an AAU basketball team that had won the national title. Her father Steve was the coach of this team. The Kansas City teen lived and breathed basketball, so it was only natural when she entered high school in 2008 that she would want to play.
But she didn't end up on the court. Not because she wasn't good enough though: she was in a coma. Did that stop her from shooting around? Apparently not.
The Daily reports that Meier began exhibiting unusual symptoms, including seizures, that eventually led doctors to discover she had meningitis that caused swelling in the brain -- mycoplasma meningoencephalitis. She was in the hospital for 100 days and in a coma for two and a half months. Amazingly, when her parents moved her into a wheel chair and placed a beach ball in her hands, she began to shoot. But she would soon return to a comatose condition.
The Kansas City Star reported Meier's mother as saying sometimes she would wake up long enough to just hold the ball; other times she would shoot:
Three minutes. Four minutes. Maybe five. And then … back to the coma.
"That showed us," Margaret says, "that there was something still in there."
Here's more from The Daily on Meier:
“I have never seen anything like it,” said Dr. William Graf, Meier’s neurologist. “The act of shooting a basketball must have been ingrained as one of Maggie’s basic instincts — her basketball shooting motion came back to her even before she was able to stand up or walk again.”
The moments when she was awake are just tales to Meier, not memories.
“Coming back to normal, I hear stories like that, like shooting the beach ball,” she said. “I played basketball my whole life, since third grade. I had the knowledge of playing and knowing what was going on in a game.”
The Daily reports that even though high school basketball was not in the cards for Meier her freshman year -- she had to relearn to walk, talk and read -- she made junior varsity her sophomore year and was a part-time starter as a senior on the varsity team this year.
When Meier graduates this spring, she'll be attending Benedictine College in Kansas where she plans to study special education.