Makayla Mayo is healthy and back home in Gwinn. Earlier this summer, she ruptured a brain aneurysm and was hospitalized downstate, but on Friday she was greeted with a warm welcome at the second annual Meet the Modeltowners event. She's finally home. Eighteen-year-old Makayla Mayo was the surprise guest of honor at Meet the Modeltowners. She suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm only two weeks after graduating from Gwinn High School in June. "With everything that I've been through, it was really nice to know that everyone back home had my back. It was really cool," said Makayla. The event helps the community build school spirit and introduce the new mascot, but Makayla stole the show.
For months, her friends and neighbors ran "Miles for Makayla" and organized fundraisers. Facebook has been an instrument for support and information on Makayla's condition. "All of it...It just really meant a lot to get online and realize that everyone was praying for you," said Tina Mayo, Makayla's mother. Makayla's summer in the hospital was a bumpy road to recovery, but her proud parents say she was a fighter since day one. "She's an inspiration to so many of us. People that were in P.T. with her looked up to her. They said, 'If she can get up and do it, I can get up and do it,'" said Thomas Mayo, Makayla's father. "The most difficult part was learning how to walk. We take that for granted," Makayla said. Makayla is now doing well and moving on her own.