Klamath/Siletz Tribal Native
Not fazed by car accident, Case comes back strong
Article by: Joaquin Aguilar Herald & News Sports Reporter – November 10, 2017
It only takes a moment to turn a person’s life around.
Oregon Tech volleyball senior Faryn Case found herself in the middle of pandemonium when she was driving one night six years ago that ultimately changed her life forevermore.
She was driving upward of 50 miles per hour on a chilly November night and before she noticed, went through black ice, slid and after attempting to control her vehicle, it flipped upside down and over several times.
There was a brief moment where she lost consciousness and opened her eyes, upside down before she attempted to get out of her truck.
Once she got out, she couldn’t walk before adrenaline kicked in and she dragged herself on the side of the road for several football field lengths in hope of anyone finding her on the dark rural road.
Her guardian angel came when she was found by a car passing through Sprague River Highway and he helped bring her an ambulance to go to the hospital.
“When I tell this story, and people ask me why I didn’t panic, I only felt that I wanted to survive and wanted to save myself,” Case said. “I knew I was there but was not awake after the car flipped. I woke up and I wrapped my foot in shorts that I had in my car after I saw my foot was bleeding and saw it ripped out the bottom of my achilles. I was in pain but all I could do was crawl in hope that anyone could see me.” Case knew she was the product of a miracle when the result of the car wreck was a ruptured achilles heel.
The devastating news came for the then 17-year-old when she was told she was not going to be able to walk for a year.
The tune of her doctor became music to her ears, and after intense help from physical therapist, Luke Klaja, she was able to walk again in six months. When the days got difficult or ease set in, Klaja did not let her slack off.
What impacted her the most once she played sports again was the incident occurred on her left leg, her jumping leg in volleyball. She first had to adjust jumping and took off on her right leg.
Case normally jumps off one leg and is able to jump higher when she jumps off her left leg, which made her life that more challenging.
It led her to the decision of redshirting her freshman year at Oregon Tech to be better prepared and 100 percent healthy.
Former Oregon Tech head coach, Jason Corwin, noticed Case as a junior at Chiloquin and confirmed his desire to have her on his team after her senior season.
Her first step in overcoming adversity came when she became the school’s valedictorian and was a league volleyball player of the year for the Queens.
With being in the Oregon Tech volleyball program for fives years, she went through her share of coaches as a Hustlin’ Owl. Corwin was her coach her redshirt freshman year and was coached by interim coach, Joey Parnell, before she was given more of a chance to play under current head coach, Andrew Clifton. She played in matches her first two years before she earned a bigger role and finally got her chance this season after a patellar tendon injury to teammate Samantha Szachara, and was placed as a middle blocker, a position she hadn’t played since high school.
Case finished with 127 kills this year for fifth on her team and had 29 blocks. She made the playoffs her first two years as an Owl.
Tech, this year, was on the outside looking in of the sixth and final Cascade Collegiate Conference playoff spot.
A turning point for Case was after Oregon Tech suffered its first sweep of the season against Northwest University, and after, received an earful from Clifton, which included a message that if his seniors did not play well, he would plan for the future and play younger players.
“It lit a fire in me to make sure everything I worked for wasn’t taken away from me. I was close with all 18 of my teammates,” Case said. “It is a rare thing to see in a girls team to like everyone but we actually did.”
What helped bring her to play for Oregon Tech was after her sister-in-law and Mazama alumni, Jennifer, played for four years as a Hustlin’ Owl and finished her senior season the year before Case arrived.
Her first sport came when she played basketball at six years old and also was involved in track and field, as well as softball.
She excelled in basketball at Chiloquin and nearly had the opportunity to play the sport for Tech.
With the anguish from her accident, she decided to not continue with basketball as she wanted to have less stress on her body, and said she wanted to get better and give all her effort to volleyball, a sport she did not play before high school.
Basketball was a part of her DNA, with older brother, Liston, a member of the Oregon Tech men’s basketball 2012 national champions, and her dad, Ed, a longtime coach in the area and former player at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas.
Case wants to stay plugged into the community and wants to get a job in the Klamath Basin as a water restoration technician once she graduates.
Through all her time at Oregon Tech, Case said not once did she feel any pain on her left foot.
“It made me who I am today and helped me with my life. It changed a lot about me and made me more humble and grateful for life,” Case said. “Being taken out like that and being told you will not be the same, it made me want to prove something. It is still a tender thing and crosses my mind. But I am grateful for Oregon Tech and all my coaches. I was able to overcome something detrimental and I could not be more happy where I am.”
Note: Faryn is a Klamath/Siletz Native. She is the daughter of Ed and Torina Case IV of Chiloquin, Oregon. She is the direct descendant of Klamath Chief and 1864 Treaty Signer, Chief Lalo. On her Siletz Tribal side, she is a direct descendant of Ethel Logan.