TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR TRAUMA STORY
In May 2018, my husband and I were struck by a car involved in a multi car collision while crossing a street in Washington D.C. when visiting from California. My husband sustained nine broken ribs, a shattered breastplate and a lacerated liver and he was hospitalized for two weeks. My injuries included 10 broken ribs, several of which were crushed in multiple places puncturing my lung, stomach and diaphragm along with rupturing my spleen. After the initial surgery to repair the damage, I quickly became septic and went into acute heart and lung failure. At this point I required life support. My heart quickly stabilized and I was removed from the Machine, but I required several more surgeries to drain and clean all the infections that had consumed my lungs and chest cavity. Since my ribs had been so badly crushed, they had to rebuild my rib cage making it possible for me to eventually breathe on my own.
WHAT WAS RECOVERY LIKE?
After four weeks in the ICU, my breathing and feeding tubes were finally removed.It was very scary to have been told you were in an accident, you never made it home from your vacation, and that you had been on life support. Not to mention the battle wounds on my body. I spent another two weeks in the hospital getting strong enough to walk, eat, breathe and travel back home. Getting back to California in my condition and finding a medical team to take over my care was extremely challenging. I was blessed to have had a huge support system consisting of friends, family and neighbors. My husband was my biggest advocate. He made my recovery his top priority even though he was recovering from his own injuries. Miraculously my infections cleared at a faster rate than was expected and I was finally discharged six weeks later and was able to get on a plane back to California.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE TSN PROGRAM? OR WHY DO YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH OTHER SURVIVORS/LOVED ONES?
It has now been three years and I feel blessed to have recovered so well. I was healthy and active before the accident and this played a big role in my recovery. I have few limitations and enjoy doing most things I did before the accident. I have worked hard at getting my physical, mental and spiritual strength back and I feel grateful for all the life experiences I have to look forward to. Those battle wounds have now turned into scars that I proudly wear because they serve as a reminder that I am stronger than what tried to kill me. The road to recovery hasn’t been easy, but I carry two words with me every day that connect my time in recovery to where I am now, to BREATHE and WALK. Be grateful for the new BREATHE of life I was given and WALK in faith every day. We don’t always have control of the events that happen in our lives, but we can choose how we react to those events. We can either turn a tragedy into triumph or let it defeat us. I chose to keep moving forward, take it one day at a time and to live each day with purpose. I believe my trauma had purpose and I believe that purpose is to help others keep faith and to never give up when they find themselves in similar situations. I chose to own my story and use it to help others on their journey to recovery and healing.