When bad things happen to good people, we are sometimes led to doubt the justice of the Creator. When good people overcome bad things, it strengthens our faith in the human spirit.

Consider Lucy Ayala, 15, of Perry, who was injured in a sledding accident on Feb. 16 and spent 11 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.

Her condition on arrival, when she had been lifeflighted to Des Moines, was extremely critical. She had a broken back and severely injured spinal cord.

Her parents, brother and three sisters were worried sick. Four hours of emergency surgery gave them some cause to hope, but Lucy was not out of the woods yet.

After a week her condition had stabilized, and by Feb. 24 she was smiling for friends and family and ready to travel to the Madonna Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln, Neb.

"Lucy is progressing and working hard more and more each day and is never without a smile," said Lupita Ayala, 17, Lucy’s elder sister.

She is expected to be in rehab for about three months, with walking as her ultimate goal.

Lupita, a senior at Perry High School, spearheaded a bake sale to raise funds to help her family pay for some of Lucy’s needs, such as a wheelchair ramp once she comes home.

The bake sale was held March 5 during parent-teacher conferences at the high school. The tables were laden with sweet things, and the free-will donations were forthcoming.