RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) — It has been a summer of strength for Ebonie Sherwood.

The three-sport athlete spent the last few months working with a physical therapist to regain her strength and re-learn movements after receiving a heart transplant in March 2023.

“PT and speech are doing really well. And we’ve gotten to do some fun stuff,” Ebonie said.

Ebonie collapsed from a heart attack back in March during track practice at Stebbins High School. After her athletic trainers performed life-saving CPR, she was flown to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati where she received a heart transplant. She was released from the hospital in May and is continuing to make progress. Ebonie said the biggest challenge has been her speech.

“I’m having a trouble word finding, so I can’t always find the words I want,” Ebonie explained.

Even though she is out of the hospital, she is still driving down to Cincinnati for doctors appointments every week and seeing her team of specialists. Her mom, Beverly, has stayed by her daughter’s side the whole time.

“It’s been amazing to watch her go from just a few months ago where she couldn’t sit up on the side of the hospital bed by herself, to now she can walk by herself and do all those things independently. And she’s just worked really hard to get back to where she is,” Beverly said.

While these last few months have not been easy, Ebonie is not letting it stop her from following her dreams and helping others. She was able to walk across the stage at her high school graduation, and she just started taking classes at Sinclair Community College.

Ebonie is also using her experience to advocate for CPR education. She is even scheduled to speak to students at her alma mater and encourage them to get the life-saving training.

“I would not be here without it. My trainers know CPR, and I know a lot of athletic trainers and coaches know it, but you never know where you’re going to be and having people around that know CPR can just save a life,” Ebonie said.

Ebonie is still on the long road to recovery, but she is grateful for the help of her doctors and nurses. She said she would not be where is today if it wasn’t for the support of her mom.

“A lot of it is mom. She kind of pushes me saying ‘I know you can do this’ or being encouraging,” Ebonie said.

Ebonie’s goal is to get strong enough to attend Tiffin University next fall where she received a track scholarship. She is currently studying exercise science with the hopes of becoming an athletic trainer.

If you would like to support the Sherwood’s continued medical expenses, click here.