Crossing guard injured on the job eager to return to duty

CREATED Oct. 10, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 10, 2013

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GREENDALE - A freak accident sent a Greendale crossing guard to the hospital. But, she’s on the mend and determined to come back to the kids.

"I'm just me. I'm just a crossing guard. I'm nobody special," says Karen Ziglinski.

Ziglinski is humbled by the cards and care packages surrounding her bed, sent by the students who miss seeing their favorite crossing guard.

"I think about them every morning. I'm still out there with them."

Karen was trying to stop traffic at the intersection of Northway and Arrowood in Greendale when a driver hit her last week. Despite suffering significant injuries, Karen has kept her sense of humor.

"I know I don't look the best either. I think I got dressed up for Halloween a little early this year.”

It's that spirit that's helped her build a special bond with students over the 30 years she's been taking care of them, inspired by her own son's trips to school.

"They say ‘good morning’. If they're having a bad day, you know they're having a bad day. We all go through it and we survive it together."

Karen has a long road ahead of her. She fractured her pelvis and injured several tendons and ligaments. She hopes to be home by Christmas, and lights up just at the thought of getting back to her tradition of treats for the kids.

"Of course you have to have treats on the holidays. Good night's sakes, you do."

A woman who's spent her life caring for others -- overwhelmed by an entire community caring for her.

"I know I'm loved. I know I'm loved and you can't ask for more than that.”

Karen also wants people to know how much her friends, husband, and son have meant to her during her recovery. As for whether she wants to come back to work one day? She's already asked her boss to save her corner for her.