Shot in the back for my purse and two dollars
Thirty-two years ago I was a college student at LSU I went out with my boyfriend to listen to some live music. We were held up at gunpoint in the parking lot, and I was shot in the back point-blank, which left me bleeding to death with a punctured lung and a severed spinal cord. The ambulance made it to the hospital in time to insert a chest tube and give me eight units of blood. I was stabilized and then received the news that I would be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of my life. I asked at that time if I would still be able to have children one day. The doctor said yes, and that was all the motivation I needed to move forward. I finished my undergraduate degree in psychology and a master's degree in social work.
Raising Children in a Wheelchair
I met my husband in college, and we had three kids, Caroline, Austin, and Joseph. My pregnancies were relatively normal, and they were all born healthy. I took care of all of them from my wheelchair and worked off and on while they were growing up. I would load them all in the car and then load my wheelchair, and we were off to the grocery store. I was room mom at their school and taught Sunday School. I was on the sidelines at their football game and front row at the dance recitals. These kids are now twenty-five, twenty-two, and nineteen years old, and they are all in college. Their father unexpectedly passed away three and a half years ago, but they are all survivors and doing great.
My Work, My Passion, My "Crowning" Achievement
I worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Rehabilitation for most of my career. I was helping other people with new disabilities navigate their way through rehab, discharge and the beginnings of their new lives. I have worked for Numotion for the last four years in various sales positions and I am now their Brand Ambassador. You can read my blogs and follow my social media @LifePossibleKR. Advocacy for people with disabilities has always been my passion. The Ms. Wheelchair America organization is a competition based completely on a woman's history of advocacy, not a beauty contest. I was Ms. Wheelchair Louisiana 2018 and had the honor of winning Ms. Wheelchair America 2019. I traveled to 25 states and 43 cities to talk about the importance of standing technology for people with disabilities. It was an amazing adventure and I loved every minute of that crazy year.