About Rachelle's Accident...
May 23, 2010
My Bachelorette Party was finally here! This was a day I was
looking forward to for so long! It was a day that I planned out
meticulously. A day of shopping with my closest girlfriends, a
trip to the seamstress to try on my wedding dress, and I was
really looking forward to a night out to dinner and dancing for
hours and hours!
We came home after a long night and went out by the pool.
We were all lifeguards and water safety was always important
to us so we never could have imagined such a freak accident.
In a playful gesture my girlfriend pushed me into the pool. It
happened to be in the shallow end and I fell to the bottom,
hitting my head. I heard a crack and I felt all feeling leave my
body. I couldn't feel the water and I knew instantly that I was
Miraculously I rolled to the top of the water and was able to scream "HELP" as I
proceeded to go back under. I was pulled from the pool and my friends called "911."
I knew that my neck was broken and that I needed to call Chris. Chris and his Dad were
camping for the weekend so I made the call and he immediately drove several hours to
be by my side. I knew I had to keep him calm so he wouldn't worry while he was on the
way and my calm demeanor helped him to cope.
After getting to the hospital, with my family and Chris by my side, I remained in ICU with a
breathing tube for a while and had to endure many tests and very difficult therapy. The
doctors explained to us that I had suffered an injury to my spinal cord at C6. What that
means is that I have no feeling from the chest down and feeling on the inside of my arms
but not on the outside. If you'd like more information about these injuries, click here.
This level of injury meant that I was now going to be living as a quadriplegic. Many
people think that it means that I have no use of my arms - but that's not the case. When
the doctors gave me this diagnosis, I asked immediately if i'd be able to use my arms and
when they said yes, that gave me the drive and determination that I needed to gain as
much strength as possible.
My accident occurred in Virginia Beach and after about a month, I moved to a better
equipped hospital for rehab in Greenville, NC. While I was there, I worked so hard to
learn many important life skills. The doctors and nurses continued to be amazed at how
quickly I was progressing.
A year later, I am able to now use an iPad to email and make phone calls. I've gotten
really good at using the outside of my hand on my touch screen because I have no use
of my fingers.
If I could have looked into a crystal ball to see past that day, would I have changed
anything up to the point of the accident? NO WAY! It was a perfect day - doing
everything that I loved - and the accident left me to live my life very differently but I know
there are bigger plans for me and now I can work every day to help others not as
fortunate as I am and I look forward to a bright future.
"Each day's a gift and not a given right."
|strength | courage | inspiration | hope
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