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As I remember…

My life is amazing, as I am alive today to tell my story of it all. I have had many hard times, uncertainties, and even some permanent damage that I have learned to cope with. But I am grateful to be alive and share my message with the world.

20 years ago today my life changed in an instant. I was only 14 years old and involved in an automobile accident that was almost fatal. I suffered severe brain and lung injuries that caused me to fall into a deep coma for two months of my life while a ventilator was breathing for me.

Doctors had given me little chances of survival from this. My family pulled together and sat by my side day and night for two months. I finally showed signs of pulling through so I was moved to the rehabilitation center of this hospital. My doctors at that time let my parents know I would

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probably be a handicapped child the rest of my life so begin building ramps for our home. There isn’t very much of that time I can remember and I believe this is a blessing because I was only 85 pounds and still being fed through a feeding tube in my stomach. But the day I can recall most clearly is a day I have seen flash through my mind since 1993. I was parked in front of the nurses station waiting to be taken to therapy by my nurses. My head tilted down to my shoulder with saliva running down my face from my mouth. I slowly lifted my head up and wiped my face off, I realized I was sitting in a wheelchair for Christ sakes. I remember unhooking that chair belt and trying to stand and falling on my face in the floor, realizing I couldn’t walk. I was immediately picked up by my nurses frantically. This is the day an iron persistence and resolute determination to walk out of that hospital was developed in my mind and I did exactly that on October 8, 1993.

I have been reflecting back on all of this the past few weeks by watching videos, looking at photos, and reading my cards and I realize that there hasn’t been one single day that this memory hasn’t crossed my mind since 1993. It has driven me through life to get past many hard times but also kept me humble and let helped me appreciate every piece of life I have. My mission now as I am remembering all of these things is to use my life as a source of inspiration. To share my experiences of Never Giving Up when the risks are stacked against you. What I’ve learned most the past 20 years is everyone really is looking for an inspiration in their life. I have so many and have had so many through these years that have made such a difference in my own life. I have even asked myself sometimes if my accident hadn’t occured that night how would my life turned out?

At least today I can proudly say I am a 34 year old marathon runner who lived two months of her life on a respirator in a coma. I had to learn to walk, write, swallow, and function mentally as a normal person again, and most importantly I NEVER GAVE UP! I do recognize this now as a series of events that has lead me to a powerful purpose in life that is very needed. If all my experiences can provide support I will feel complete in life. Although my memories are still extremely emotional to me and I have cried this whole entry in fact, I will continue to let them drive me daily and take me to places in life I should be. Because as Albert Einstein says “Only a life lived for others is worth living”…