A Head-On Collision Nearly Killed Her and Left Her Unable to Walk. Then, Something Magical Happened at Disney World

little girl with eye patch disney world castle

A horrific head-on collision last summer left a little girl with severe injuries and took away her ability to walk. But last month, she visited Disney World and ran–just like she’d dreamed of doing.

girl with eye patch

Credit: Jasen Harrison

Brooklyn Harrison was only seven years old in June 2022, when she and her father Jasen were involved in a horrific car accident that nearly proved fatal for both of them. The head-on collision left Brooklyn unconscious at first, and she spent six days in the hospital with a spinal cord injury and a traumatic brain injury (TBI), both of which played roles in her developing double vision and losing her ability to walk. Her dad spent seven days in the hospital, suffering from a collapsed lung, a broken wrist, and multiple lacerations on his body.

wrecked white car

Credit: Jasen Harrison

Doctors told Jasen that Brooklyn might never walk again and that there was a possibility that his lung might never fully heal from the injuries he incurred in the collision. But if Brooklyn would never walk and Jasen’s lung would never recover, how was the father-daughter duo ever going to run in a half-marathon?

The two dreamed of running a 5K, but because of the collision and their injuries, it was mostly just that: a dream. But Brooklyn and Jasen were determined to recover, and they were brave and passionate in their pursuit of that recovery. They both began physical therapy, and Brooklyn miraculously regained her ability to walk. As they got better and better, the pair even began engaging in light jogging together. And then, eight months after doctors thought Brooklyn might not ever walk again, she defied the odds . . . and ran–at the Walt Disney World Resort.

half marathon starting line

Credit: Disney Parks

The daddy-daughter duo ran during the 2023 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World, which took place from February 23 through February 26 at Walt Disney World.

little girl with glasses

Credit: Disney Parks

Jasen says it’s something over which he and Brooklyn bond.

“As a girl dad, you have to find certain things that bond,” said Jasen. “I’m very passionate about running, and when she asked to do her first 5K last year, that was like the best moment. Just that one thing we can do together every time. Finish together, start together.”

Here’s a look at Brooklyn and Jasen’s race weekend experience:

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!