Selfless act during sledding accident saves three-year-old

A Minnesota woman was seriously injured after slamming into a tree while sledding early this month, though her actions that day likely saved the life of her three-year-old cousin.

Among her many injuries, Maeghan Skog suffered a broken jaw and shoulder blade, severe concussion, broken ribs and bleeding around her brain, non-life-threatening injuries that nonetheless signal a long and arduous road to recovery. 

The 20-year-old was sliding down Knox Hill in Coon Rapids when she and her cousin slammed into a tree, though Skog turned to take the impact while the three-year-old escaped relatively unscathed. 

"We all know that young kids nowadays can be kind of selfish," said Scott Gearis, Maeghan's father. "She’s far from that."

Despite her painful injuries, Skog is up and walking, according to her family, though talking is still a struggle with her jaw wired shut. 

Meanwhile, her family is working to make the popular sledding hill safer, calling on city leaders to put up a fence or take other measures to protect children who use the area on a regular basis during the winter. For their part, Coon Rapids officials say they plan to explore solutions in the hopes that they can prevent another similar situation in the future.

"Her biggest concern--and she keeps repeating it--I don’t want anybody else to go through what I did," Gearis said. "This is horrible, so she’s really pushing for us to get somebody to do something."

Skog's family also set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.