HOBBIES

How My Disability Lets Me Live Passionately

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Jessica Hopkinson

How Burrmaid was Born

My name is Burrmaid and I am a 25 year old kid, artist, videogame streamer and incomplete T12 paraplegic. 3 years ago, when I was 22, I was the passenger in the backseat of a vehicle which hit a pole going 80+km/h. The driver, my friend, experienced a psychotic break after smoking marijuana for the 2nd time. It was a rainy night and we missed the turn off to the place we were supposed to go to chill. I informed the driver and this triggered him to start accelerating, pedal to the metal, until we hit something. The last thing I remember is the other passenger and I yelling for him to slow down. 

I woke in the hospital surrounded by my friends. The doctor asked me if I could feel "this", poking different parts of my body and I knew something irreperable had happened. I had suffered a burst fracture to my L4 and L5 vertebrae. The other 2 people in the vehicle were also injured (driver: broken foot, other passenger: hit his head so badly half of his skull bruised).

I have always had an air of stoicism; I've put myself in a lot of bad situations prior to this and this wasn't my first hardship. I knew from that moment waking up that I would just have to deal with this, panicking wouldn't help the situation. The accident made me realized how loved I am and showed me true friendship. My friends would visit me day in and day out, travelled across the country to see me and send me gifts. Conversely, some of my closest friends abandoned me after the accident for their own reasons. My injury could have been much worse; I am very lucky that I have the mobility and feeling I have today. I use a wheelchair for the most part but am able to walk short distances with leg braces and forearm crutches.

Since the accident, I have dedicated my time to streaming video games for a small audience. I always had a hard time making friends growing up but craved relationships with people. Streaming has helped me immensely to build social relationships where I am often stuck inside due to my disability. I have loved gaming since I was a kid and streaming has helped me become a more confident person, a better gamer and friend. It lets me express myself through the medium I prefer most, the computer, while meeting new people everyday. My stream is at  www.twitch.tv/burrmaid where I often play a variety of games and listen to a variety of music (seriously, it's a huge range).

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