I love meeting people, sharing stories, and hanging out with my dog. But my life hasn’t always been so simple. By now, you might know that I am in a wheelchair, so here’s the story why.
It was the first week of summer break in 2012. I just finished my junior year of high school, life was perfect!
I was with a couple good friends, having a good night. I hopped in the back of a pickup truck and went for a drive on the back roads of Kentucky. Later on, the truck wrecked into a tree and I was the only one unable to walk away. Literally. I broke my neck and suffered a C5-C6 incomplete spinal cord injury. That’s fancy medical jargon for you’re paralyzed from the chest down so let’s see how much function you lose in the next week. Then doctors tell you harsh things like, “you’re never going to walk or breathe on your own again.” And at the time it was true, I lost all ability to walk, sit up, breathe, move my fingers and a lotttttt more.
That’s never something a person wants to hear a doctor tell them. Ever.
I was in the hospital for 5 months, learning a new life and fighting anxious, depressing thoughts. For example, “what if I get a mucous plug in my trach, nobody can hear me scream because of the trach, AND I suffocate from the plug.” Yup, real thoughts. Every. Day. Life was different but I wanted to be happy no matter what. It’s who I am.
Years later, I can breathe on my own, I am gaining independence, getting stronger, and overcoming new challenges now more than ever. With God as my rock, I am choosing to live life to the fullest!
I might be in a wheelchair but my dreams are ambitious. I believe whole-heartedly I will walk again. I love soccer, I played soccer from age 5-17 (obviously couldn’t play after the accident). I take any excuse to travel, as long as someone can help me pack and I have a care giver scheduled to tag along. I like to draw, even if my hands don’t work. I have the cutest mini golden-doodle that is missing her left ear flap. We named her after Van Gogh and call her Vanni for short. I am usually a happy person, unless it’s morning time…. I am not a morning person. I am paralyzed (mostly) from the shoulders down. Like I said, my hands don’t work. Neither do my triceps, parts of my forearm, most of my core, legs, feet, toes. I was on a trach for five months and managed to become strong enough to breathe independently.
In the meantime of all this craziness, I am completing my graphic design degree and I serve on the Creative team at 7 Hills Church!
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