yoocan - Nicole Brown - Don't Drink and Drive!
DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Don't Drink and Drive!

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Nicole Brown

Survival and a new life as a paraplegic

One night, I was standing on the sidewalk when a drunk driver sped up going 50mph and hit me. I flew about 40 feet, cut two mailboxes that were on 4x4 posts clean in half, kept flying and hit and dented a parked car. I fell to the ground and cracked my head open, suffering a T4/T5 spinal cord injury, a dozen fractures, and a traumatic brain injury, since my brain was hemorrhaging. The driver sped off after he hit me. I was driven to the hospital in an ambulance and spent the next two and a half months there. The driver was found and arrested a week and a half after he hit me. 

Learning to navigate my new body was absolutely terrifying. I was now paralyzed from my chest down and had to learn how to get around in a wheelchair. It was awful. Once I got home, I had to use a slide board to transfer from one place to the next. I needed help getting on the toilet, taking a shower, getting into bed, getting in and out of the car, I needed help with pretty much everything. After a while, I became adapted to using my wheelchair to get around and stopped needing so much help.

My new life is different, but I appreciate things now in a way that I couldn't before. I never loved my body the way that I do now. It's fighting, just like I am, to one day be able to walk again. I give speeches to high school students about the effects of drinking and driving, to discourage them from making the same horrible decision that put me in this situation. I hope that I influence these kids to make the right choice when it comes to drinking and driving. Just don't do it!

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