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Kaley Y.

by James Thelen 08 Jul 2024 0 Comments
When I was 14 I was injured in a car accident. I was going to a party with friends and the driver was going 110mph on a residential street. He hit a dip in the road and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle ended up, slamming into a pole and completely splitting in half. I flew out of the car because I was not wearing a seatbelt. I ended up breaking my neck, which left me a quadriplegic. My lung also collapsed which caused me to be on a ventilator. I spent the last months of 9th grade in the hospital fighting for my life. The hospital staff tried to convince my parents that I needed to go into a long-term care facility, but they were not allowing that. Instead, my parents took me home and learned how to take the best care of me. Once I got home, the reality of the situation set in. I lost all of my friends because they stopped coming around. I became very insecure about the way that I looked in my wheelchair. So insecure that I wouldn’t even go in my front yard because I didn’t want anybody to see me. After about a year of isolating myself from the world, I discovered a therapy place for only spinal cord injuries. I started attending this place and realizing that there are so many other people like me and they are amazing and full of strength. I slowly started to regain my confidence. It has been 17 years since that life-changing accident. I am still a quadriplegic and dependent on help from others with daily tasks. But I am no longer that insecure girl who is embarrassed of what she has been through. I now help others in similar situations by showing them that you can get out there and live your life, despite the challenges that are thrown at you. I do a lot of advocating on social media for the spinal cord injury community as well as a lot of educating. I am proud of the woman that I have become. Yes my accident was tragic, but it truly made me into a strong confident woman. One of my favorite quotes when I am having a bad day is, “ it’s not a bad life. It’s just a bad day.” I hope that if you are having a bad day, you can also remind yourself of that. Everybody has their struggles in life, but it is all about how you deal with them.


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