The day of my accident was very bright and clear, and very cold. It was a few days after an ice storm, but everything had melted. So the roads was supposed to be safe, even though we lived out in the country.
My husband, Jake and I left our apartment at the same time, taking separate vehicles. He was going to school and I was on my way to work. I have driven on that road every day. So I felt safe on that road.
We split up at the usual spot, a church, but not even a mile away I wrecked. As I was driving on a sharp curve, I felt the car start to slide. Of course I jerked the wheel trying to get the car under control. Which made me start to spin. At that point I knew I was going to wreck into a tree.
I remember two things running through my mind. The first was that I had forgotten to put on my seatbelt, but that I should be fine if I grip the steering wheel. The second was that my step dad was going to kill me since he had just got done fixing my car from where I had hit a deer.
The only thing I really remember after that was dirt and glass flying everywhere. Then everything stopped. I was laying in the back seat with my legs draped over the front seat. And I couldn’t breath. It felt like my chest would burst. It had to have been just a few seconds but felt like five minutes before I could get a breath.
After that I realised I couldn’t feel or move my legs. I guess I was in survival mood because I told myself not to think about it. That it’s just temporary and I can deal with it later. The most important thing was finding my cell phone so I could call for help. I could hear it vibrating from a call but didn’t know where it was.
This scared me more than anything, because I figured it would be awhile before anyone would drive by. I could barely move my arms and it was still hard to breath but I knew the phone had to be close by. I figured it was underneath me, but I couldn’t raise up to feel if it was there.
That’s when I saw a car drive by. Then another. I thought maybe I had broken past the tree and I was in a field. That no one could see me. I began to panic. I had to find that phone. Looking back, I should have known better than to move around and struggle so much. They always say in movies not to move if you have a neck injury. But my neck was fine. It didn’t hurt and I could move it.
Finally after a few minutes of struggling I saw a man walk up. I was afraid he couldn’t see me and I could barely call out for help. So I raised my arm to bang on the window. It took everything I had to tap on the window and call for help. He asked if I was alright and told me that help was on the way.
Then a cop came. Its funny because by that point I was worried about someone calling my job to let them know I wasn’t coming in. I also wanted someone to call Jake. I was scared and needed him by my side. He reassured me he would call them, and to just hold on until the ambulance came.
After that I had to wait. Wait for the ambulance. Then wait for the firemen to cut me out of the car. Then when they got me into the ambulance, I had to wait for the life flight helicopter to come pick me up.
While I was in the ambulance Jake showed up. He was clutching my glasses and shaking. I laugh about it now but I was so happy to see him. The paramedics only let him stay for a minute, but that was enough to give me strength.
When they got me into the helicopter, there was one paramedic that would ask me over and over what my name and birthday was. She kept my mind off the ride because the shaking of the helicopter was painful and made it harder to breath.
After we got to the hospital they packed me with heat packs and checked my vitals. I asked the paramedic if I could finally go to sleep and she said yes.
The next few days was a blur of faces and test. I remember telling Jake a nurse was flirting with me. Of having terrible cotton mouth and begging for water or ice chips. Then when I was finally allowed to have something to drink. A nurse brought me apple juice. It was the best juice I have ever had. Then I remember crying with Jake about the diagnosis. I had broken my back in four places. They couldn’t tell me if I could walk again.
I spent two weeks in the hospital before I was transferred to rehabilitation. There I spent six weeks getting my strength back and learning how to live my life in a wheelchair.
I was released on April 2nd. Eight days before our one year wedding anniversary. Jake stayed by my side the whole time. He is my rock. My biggest supporter and motivator.
That day changed my life. I became closer to God. He was right there in the passenger seat with me. Keeping me safe. I meet new, amazing people. That give me advice and support. And I became closer to my husband.
I am very blessed and thankful to be here.