Springville’s Laurel Schaul, 11, will serve as Kid Captain when the Iowa football team hosts Purdue Saturday, Nov. 18.

IOWA CITY — Laurel Schaul, 11, daughter of Annette and Larry Schaul, of Springville, will serve as Kid Captain when the Iowa football team takes on Purdue Nov. 18, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Laurel was with her friends in the basement of her Springville home Sept. 12, 2016, when an accident resulted in a hard fall that left her in intense pain. Her mother drove Laurel to an urgent care clinic and the staff there immediately referred her to the emergency room of a local hospital.

An MRI indicated Laurel had a mass on her spinal cord, and Laurel was transferred to the University of Iowa Stead Family’s Children’s Hospital.

Specialists met with Laurel and her family when they arrived in Iowa City and a review of the MRI showed that the ‘mass’ on Laurel’s spinal cord was actually a hematoma - an abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. It’s location posed a serious risk for Laurel, so she was taken immediately into surgery.

Though the surgery was successful, doctors cautioned that there was only a 15-percent chance Laurel would walk again. But eight days after the accident, Laurel was out of the hospital and she continues to gain strength.

More information about Laurel is available at

Now in it’s ninth year, the Kid Captain program is a partnership between the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes to honor pediatric patients and celebrate their inspirational stories.

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