Bradwell Institute's Girls Basketball Coach Faye Baker is a fighter. Some people change the world. While others will leave a legacy for the generations to come.
Faye Baker is a living testimony of hope and faith for community. The hometown girl from Allenhurst was born a competitor. A champion on the athletic fields, Baker's life took a near tragic turn. Now she's become a champion in the game of life.
You can see Faye Baker every sunday at Bethel A.M.E. Church playing the drums. But growing up, Faye moved to the beat of a different drum on the athletic fields.
"I really think it was in our genes because I have three brothers and a sister and they were all athletic. I guess it was more like expected of me being the youngest out of the group to follow in their footsteps," said Faye.
Whether it was basketball, track or even dodge ball, Faye strived to be the best.
"She didn't want those boys to beat her in doing anything," said Ethel Baker, Faye's mom.
A decorated athlete in three sports, her name etched in the record books as one of the best athletes ever to come out of Liberty County. When Faye entered Georgia Southern, she continued to display her athletic ability as a walk-on for the basketball and softball teams.
"I just tried to be very humble about it because I felt like it was a God-given talent given to me that I was blessed with," Faye said.
But her faith would be tested on October 22nd, 2000 on a church road trip to Round O, South Carolina. The members were traveling in two 15-passenger vans on a seemingly routine drive up Interstate 95 when suddenly...
"I'd actually fallen asleep and I was awakened by a loud noise," Faye recalled.
"I mean the tire blew out. This lady was driving and she lost control of it and it flipped over three times," said her mother, Ethel, who was riding on the same van as Faye.
"I can actually remember feeling my neck breaking. It just kinda popped," as Faye grimaced.
Henry Baker, Sr. was in the van ahead of Faye when the crash occurred. "My daughter was laying in the van and gas was dripping down on her. I said Lord have mercy, what is this?"
"I was hollering and I was crying," her mother remembers.
Baker, Sr. saw his daughter was in pain.
"I went to the van where I was at and I asked her was she alright and she said 'Daddy I can't move my legs."
Faye was determined to find a way to beat the odds...In part two, we'll tell you about her amazing recovery and how her faith pushed her to doing things that even doctor's said weren't possible.