OKC RedHawks Honor Heroic Plaza Towers Teacher

Friday, April 11th 2014, 11:07 pm

By: News 9

There was a special honor for a Plaza Towers teacher who put her life on the line last May to save her students. The Oklahoma City RedHawks took time out of their season-opener Friday night to recognize the heroics of Mrs. Karen Marinelli.

For Marinelli and her family, Friday night was a celebration of life. Marinelli has made a miraculous recovery since last May and she says she never thought she would be in the position she's in today.

"Well I definitely feel honored. It's a nice feeling," said Marinelli.

It's called, the "Home Run for Life Series"

They recognize people, like Marinelli. Honorees are recognized during the game and usually take a home run lap around the bases. It's meant to symbolize the end of a battle against adversity.

On Friday night, it was Marinelli's three students who made that run; the same three she laid over as that monstrous EF-5 tornado passed.

7/7/2013 Related Story: Last Moore Teacher Hospitalized After Tornado Goes Home

"In some ways it feels like it's been forever. In some ways it feels like it was just a couple of months ago," Marinelli said.

News 9 has followed Marinelli through her recovery, including the day she was able to once again take her first steps.

"In a lot of ways, I can look back and see how far I've come and how much I've healed and that makes me realize how long it has been, and how far I've come."

"I'm surprised maybe that we've come so far this quickly, but I never doubted that she could do it," said husband, Dominic Marinelli.

Dominic says Friday night was a reminder to live in the moment.

"To live in the present, and there's always times for things like baseball, to take your mind off those more serious things in life," said Marinelli. "You have to be stronger than your situation and you have to keep going."

Marinelli and her husband are also expecting an addition to the family, a baby girl, due May 20,  2014.

5/31/2013 Related Story: Moore Teacher Shields Students From Tornado, Recovers From Injuries


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