SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

My Second Chance At Life

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Kandace

"Never let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life."

It was a cold , dark, and rainy Friday night on January 10th 2014 my life was changed forever. My friends and I were headed down a curvy slick road when we rounded a left-handed curve to fast and overcorrected  and the car flipped multiple times. I was a backseat passenger and immediatly  felt like I was broken in half and couldnt feel anything from mid-chest down. I was taken to UNC Chapel Hill where I was diagnosed with a T4 Complete Spinal Cord Injury. After being in surgery 6 hours I was told I would never walk again, this news devestated me and I didn't know what life was going to be like from now on. I was 21 years old at the time of the accident and was I firm believer nothing bad could ever happen to me, but after my accident that  outloook changed. I begin inpatient Physical Therapy and Occcupational Therapy  to learn how to use a manual wheelchair and basically relearn all the things i was taught as I small child such as dressing and bathing.

Goals

While in the hospital I had 2 choices to make, either let this injury defeat me or make me stronger,  I chose the second option. There were many days in the hosptial I struggled and didn't know if I was going to make it through but with faith and perseverance I was able to keep going. I was finally discharged from UNC on Feburary 14th 2014. When I got home to my small town in North Carolina thats when things really started to settle in of what had happened. I continued outpatient Physical Therapy  at the the local fitness center where I worked before my acccident learning more and more things such as learning how to do transfers in my wheelchair, and basically how to manuever and function in everyday life. Before my accident I was really big into fitness and working out so I wanted to get back stronger and back into the gym and working out. I started setting goals of things I wanted to do and one of those was to do pull-ups in my wheelchair which I was able to do after several months of working out. 

My main goal after my accident was to continue to move forward and to let people know that there is life after a tragic event. In August on 2014 I was able to go back to work at First Health Fitness as a membership represenative, then after months and months of calling and getting everything set up I was finally able to start back driving in October of 2015.In October of 2016 I completed my very first half marathon and now i am looking into doing several more next year. 

Since my accident I have been able to do things I once thought were impossible and been able to meet and have some amazing individuals come into my life that have helped make this new journey easier. This new journey that I am on is my second chance at life, each day that I get to wake up i am thankful and look forward to what lies ahead.  No matter what situation you may be in the main things i have learned is you have to overcome and adapt to whatever situation you may be in, yes i have to admit I have bad days but you have to keep your head up and never give up. Remember to never let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. Life is still beautiful  and nothing is impossible.

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