My Story

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Early in the year of 1986, at age 26, I was a single mom, raising two daughters ages 6 and 4. I worked as a teller at a local bank. Being single for nearly 2 years and realizing I could take care of myself and my daughters gave me a strong sense of independence. Even though it was a struggle, I was proud to accept the responsibility. With a can-do attitude, I was training for a supervisor position for our bank.

In July 1986, I was the victim of a head on traffic collision. It was a Thursday night, at 9:30pm. The driver of the other vehicle had a blood alcohol content of .26. I was headed eastbound, he, westbound. He crossed a 12' dirt median before coming into my lane. I lived, though I had several injuries. I do not remember anything of the collision. I think the only things I remember of the next few days is what I have been told. My family was told I would never be able to walk unassisted again. I was in the hospital for almost a month.
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My injuries included, lacerated eyes, L cheek broken in 3 places, L jaw broken, L elbow broken (required hardware for repair), L ulna and radius (lower arm) - compound fracture (required hardware), R wrist broken, L femur (upper leg) compound fracture (required hardware), L knee joint shattered (required hardware), L tibia and fibula (lower leg) compound fracture (required hardware), R knee joint compound fracture and severed a piece of the bone that holds the patela (knee cap) in place, R ankle broken, and internal injuries of the L groin area.

After leaving the hospital, I required 24 hour care. I was only allowed to go home at that time because my family arranged full time help for me once I got there. My sister, Rinne, quit her job, and she and her husband, John moved in with us. I had a home nurse and a physical therapist come to the house every day until I was able to go to the medical facility. I endured daily physical therapy, numerous surgeries and treatments, for 2 years. On three occasions, during the first four years after the collision, my now brittle bones, broke due to stress, and had to be surgically repaired using bone grafts. With the wonderful doctors, and physical therapists, I've been able to walk unassisted afterall.

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