Dancing Granny injured in parade performs for caregivers who saved her life

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies performed at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center on Thursday as a thank you to the medical team that saved one of the grannies injured in the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack.

Betty Streng, 62, from Greenfield suffered a skull fracture and brain bleed.

“The fact that I’m here walking, talking, and dancing, proves Dr. Sarkiss does very good work,” Streng said. “I’m very thankful for him, and everyone who helped me recover.”

Dancing Grannies perform for caregivers

Streng led a parade through the parking lot of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. Hospital staff lined the sidewalk to watch the Dancing Grannies, and cheer them on.

“It’s amazing to see her today, doing what she does best,” said her neurosurgeon, Dr. Christopher Sarkiss, who clapped loudly in the crowd. “By God’s grace she was brought to us that night in the knick of time, and we were able to help her and get her through it.”

Dancing Grannies perform for caregivers that saved lives

Dr. Sarkiss performed the emergency brain surgery that saved Streng’s life, just hours after the parade attack. He was working an on-call shift at Aurora Medical Center Summit in Oconomowoc that night, where many of the injured were taken. Members of the Intensive Care Unit Trauma Team there also showed up at Aurora St. Luke’s to watch Streng dance Thursday.

Streng has gone through months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. After the performance, there were a lot of hugs and tears.

“It’s tears of joy,” Streng said. “The fact that I can be here to honor all the healthcare heroes who helped me, and that all my Dancing Grannies took time off work to do it with me is a blessing.”

Waukesha victims


Waukesha Christmas parade victims

The women have been through so much together, and remain there for each other through everything. It’s their way of honoring their teammates who didn’t survive the parade attack: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

“They died doing what they love,” Streng said. “How can we not keep dancing for them? They would want us to be here.”

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