Sarah Panzau’s Journey

Alec Higgins and Kristine Heimstad

The night of August 23, 2003, Sarah Panzau was involved in a near fatal car accident. She was driving under the influence of alcohol. At the scene, she was given a 0% chance of survival. She was airlifted to St. Louis University where she spent 6 weeks in intensive care and on a ventilator. Her injuries were extremely severe. Between having her jaw fractured in seven different places, severing three of four ligaments in her knee, and losing her left arm, she should not have survived, doctors said.

On January 8th 2013, Miss Panzau visited our school to talk about her incident.  Her presentation included pictures from her high school years and from her accident. She discussed with us about the importance of family and making good decisions. Sarah then focused her attention on a few people in the audience. She cracked jokes; she made us feel comfortable, and she was a tremendously interesting person.

When her speech was done, we gave her a standing ovation for her determination to help students across the nation. Sarah has inspired thousands of students across America to take action against driving under the influence. Our school has had many speakers but Sarah Panzau had the greatest effect to the students of Central High School.