Saturday, December 9, 2006

My Story                                                                                                    

Today's entry is about how I became paralyzed.

August, 1978, rural Wisconsin.  I was a passenger in
my neighbor's Subaru station wagon.  We were driving
home with our neighbors after an evening in town at 
the tennis courts.   My dad and the neighbor dad
were in the front seats.  My mom and the neighbor
mom were in the seats behind them.  My neighbor
friends, Debbie and Patti, as well as my sister and
I were riding in the back.

I have no memories of the event, but I've been told
that we were either slowing down for a stop sign, or
stopped for a stop sign.  Traveling at a high speed
behind us was a drunk driver.  He didn't slow down
for the stop sign.  He crashed into the back of the car
I was riding in.  Debbie, Patti and I were thrown out
of the car.  Everyone was injured, except for the drunk
driver.  Debbie and Patti died at the scene.  They were
only 7 and 9 years old.  I was conscious and walking
around at the scene and the only obvious injury I had
was a broken arm.  A day later, my legs started to
feel funny.  The next thing I knew, I was paralyzed
from the chest down.  Unbeknownst to the doctors, I
had broken bones in my spine in the crash.  The broken
bones caused swelling and the swelling crushed my
spinal cord, leaving me a T4/5 complete paraplegic.

I share with you a photograph of my sister and I with
Debbie and Patti.  This photo was taken on my 8th
birthday, just a few months before the car accident.
Debbie is on the left, next is me, then Patti, and then
my sister and our dog.  Debbie and Patti were great
kids.  They came from a family who loved them very
much.  Debbie was so smart and so kind.  Patti was
outgoing and  funny and she loved everyone and
everyone loved her.  They are both missed tremendously.
Even today, more than 28 years later, I cry when I think
about their death.  They made a positive impact in this
world during their brief lives, and I know they would have
grown to be respectable members of our society.  RIP my



Jen G. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, your friends have now touched my life as well, making me even more grateful for each moment. I know your blogs are going to help alot of people in similar situations and hopefully make all of us a bit more aware.
Take care, Jen

Jen G. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Thank you Jen! Helping others is important to me. I think and hope that blogging my experience is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

James said...

Hi there,
Would it be possible for you to get in contact with us, as we would like to do a page about you for a new website we are building about power chairs. You can contact us on contact [at] (Sorry - I couldn't see a way to contact you directly on your blog.)

All the best,


nadia said...

omg.. thanks for sharing this. I am not paralyze, but i admire people in your situation. I can't imagine mylife with wheelchair. I never thought about this till today. u're strong woman. god bless u.