UPDATED: Saturday, January 28, 2012 --- 10:00 p.m.
A local trapeze artist performs for the first time just five months after facing paralysis.
In September, Hannah Crist hung from the trapeze at Circus World as her brother Tristen performed magic below. During a swing she fell from the bar and crashed straight to the concrete below.
Crist was rushed to Madison for back surgery. During the operation her spine was injured and when she woke she couldn't move her right leg. She spent a month in the hospital before moving to her brother's care and relearning to walk.
Hannah's recovery is ongoing. She can finally climb stairs, but she really wants to return to the ring.
"I was thinking how can I chop my leg off and still do trapeze," she said. "A lot of people have suggested that I find another career choice, but the circus is in my heart, it's what I want to do, and I'm not going to give up.
But recovering physically isn't her only challenge. Saturday night family and friends hosted a benefit performance at the Al Ringling Theater in Baraboo to help with mounting medical bills.
During the show, Hannah performed as older brother Tristan's assistant for magic illusions, something she said she's being doing since a kid. The show concludes as Hannah climbs a sheet to the top of the stage and swings from a hoop.
Tristan says his sister's quick recovery isn't an accident.
"She came home after a month in the hospital," he said. "I built a wheelchair ramp and two days later she said 'I'm done with the wheelchair' and she never sat in it again, so she definitely pushed herself really, really hard."
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 --- 4:18p.m.
BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- Baraboo authorities say a circus performer has been injured after she fell about 10 to 15 feet from a swing.
Police Chief Mark Schauf says 23-year-old Hannah Crist landed on a concrete surface after she fell during a show Saturday morning.
Chelsea White is a spokeswoman for the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, where Crist was performing as a magician's assistant. She says Crist was alert and conscious after the fall but was slightly disoriented.
Crist was taken to a hospital. A WISC-TV report (http://bit.ly/qks84B ) says no further details on her condition have been released.
Police say they're investigating the circumstances of the fall.
White says the museum is sympathetic to fans who witnessed the accident. She adds that customers who were there at the time offered their well-wishes.
Information from: WISC-TV, http://www.channel3000.com
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)