I have never been one to shy away from telling people about my accident, but I have never been straight up with all of you guys about my journey. Today makes 4 years since my life completely fell apart and I had to pick up the pieces and restart it.
I will spare you all the details but I suffered a cheerleading injury on May 5, 2012 that left me paralyzed from the waist down. After being rushed to the hospital and undergoing countless x-rays and examinations, the doctors told me that there was a 50/50 chance of me being able to again if we go into an emergency surgery immediately. Hours later I came out of surgery with 8 screws and 2 rods in my spine along with a massive new scar on my back.
Slowly but surely I was able to gain feeling back in my lower body. It started with being able to wiggle my toes and then took off from there. Within two days of the operation I started to learn how to walk again.
Years of physical therapy, another back operation to fix a broken screw, countless nightmares of the accident playing over and over again in my sleep, and I could not be any more grateful. Without my accident, I would have never grown into the person that I am today. My struggles led me to my strengths.
When May 5th roles around it is always a period of reflection
and tequila #cincodemayo for me. It used to weigh very heavy on my heart but now it is an uplifting reflection, a reminder of how far I have come in just 4 short years. I’m now a (mostly) fully abled person. Sure there are times where having a titanium back catches up to me, like walking around campus with my backpack or trying to get luggage through an airport, and it can be very easy to feel frustrated or upset. I have to remind myself that in many ways I am just like any other 20 year old college student, but also in many ways I am not. I have gone through things that most people will never even have to imagine in their lifetime, much less someone as young as I am. But that is what makes me, me!
My experiences have sculpted me (literally and figuratively) into the woman I am today and I could not be anymore proud of that.
“I was served lemons, but I made lemonade” – Beyoncé