occurred when I was 46 years old. A freak accident while I was standing next to the car with the door open, I reached
in to turn the key off and the car lurched pulling me underneath and after running over me, I was thrown into a wall, sustaining
simultaneous dissections of both internal carotid arteries. After a spinal fusion for L3 and L4, I suffered a stroke
from the dissections.
was compromised with all sorts of complications and I was hospitalized between intensive care, acute care and rehabilitation
for a period of six months. It took me months to overcome the depression and get strong enough to make progress.
Because I had
an incomplete injury, I was discharged using loftstrand crutches and wheelchair and was told I would at most be an in house
ambulator. It was a very long period of time of outpatient therapy and eventually, I drove a car again and integrated
back into my community and home. At this point of twenty years, I continue physical therapy from time to time and a
Wellness Program, as well as water therapy.
I am grateful
for so many things and do feel blessed to have lived after such a horrendous experience, but more than that to be able to
give back to others. I receive far more than I give and, at the time of my hospitalization, I realized that coming from
the acute care setting to rehab most patients felt in need of some personal care.
attention to self would make any patient feel better, so it became my goal to provide that when I recuperated. I was
able to find people to give of their time in this role and became a facilitator for this program in the hospital. It
is one of the happiest things I do. Along with that, I am involved with Stroke Support and have been for 19 years and
have joined the Spinal Cord Support Group, as well.
I am so privileged
to work with this team at our hospital for SCI Support as they are young, dynamic, positive and make me feel that anything
is possible. I am proud of each one of them for the accomplishments they have made and look forward to our future work.