On a Thursday morning, before a three day weekend because of the Memorial Day holiday in 2001 I got a phone call from a close friend asking me if I wanted to go to on a road trip for a few days. I had nothing else exciting planned so I gladly accepted the invitation. First, we drove to St. George to spend the night so we could meet up with a few other people in the morning. Since Mesquite is only about a 30 minute drive from St. George we decided to go hang out there for a little while. We ended up staying until early in the morning. A few hours after we got back to St. George we met our friends and drove to Lake Powell where we had an amazing time camping on the beach. There were hundreds of other people there which led to a few days with no real sleep.
The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital with tubes in my mouth, nose and all over my body, not being able to talk and not being able to move. Although, this was all kind of a blur because the doctors had me so drugged up. I had partially collapsed and bruised lungs, staples in the top of my head helping to close up a huge gash and 9 broken/dislocated vertebrae in my neck and back. The worst of the injuries was to my C 6/7 vertebrae in my neck. The two vertebrae were dislocated pinching my spinal cord causing me to be paralyzed from the chest down and only left with partial feeling in and partial use of my arms.
My friend was also pretty beat up from the accident but she was little more fortunate and was able to walk away which I'm very thankful for.
After the accident, I remained in the U of U hospital rehab unit for a long three months where I lost about 50 pounds. I had to wear a horrible back/neck brace anytime I was out of bed which really sucked. While I was in the hospital I did meet some great people (therapists, nurses and other patients) and my family and friends were such a great support, they really helped me to deal with and get through the hardest time in my life.
Today, I'm still paralyzed from the chest down, I only have partial use of my arms and I cruise around in a wheelchair but I'm pretty thankful for where I'm at in my life (most of the time), things could always be worse. I have the most amazing and supportive family and they take pretty good care of me.
Love you guys!