January 21, 2011 is a day that my life completely turned upside down.
I grew up being diagnosed with depression and anxiety at a fairly young age. I allowed my depression to take a hold of me and I ended up in my bathroom with 13 Xanax in my hand, ready to take my life. I felt that I had nothing to live for and no purpose in life.
A week later, I was in a horrific car accident with my best friend (Kellie) and two others. I was paralyzed at the scene, I broke two bones in my neck, broke eight parts of my pelvis, had two brain bleeds, one artery that pumps blood into my brain (vertebral) was cut off, and I broke five parts of my lower back. I should have been paralyzed, let alone, killed.
The fireman who held my neck stable the entire time until we were at the hospital ended up being off duty when the call was made, but jumped on the truck. One little movement meant a snap of my spinal cord and paralyzed from the neck down. I found out later from the department that while I was in the ambulance, they told me to move my hands and feet, so I did and asked how I did. He responded “great, Rebecca!” but I did not move a muscle. I was paralyzed.
My mom is a nurse at the hospital and received a phone call from officer Crocker stating that she needed to go to ER, I had been in a car accident. My mom, my oh my, my mom went into nurse mode and stayed so strong when she ran in and saw her daughter laying, unable to move her left side. Scans after scans and throwing up all over myself multiple times, the verdict was made: Kellie and I both broke our necks and would be placed in Halo's for three months. The halo is actually screwed into four parts of our head: two on the forehead and two behind the ears.
Although my back was broken and left side wouldn't move, my neck was the most important thing to fix. My bones were actually shattered so the doctors had to remove the pieces and then perform three different surgeries (anterior, posterior, anterior) because two of my facets (in between bones) jumped one another. This meant flipping me over and would "most likely" paralyze me. My mom called a specific doctor, who left his anniversary dinner, to do my surgery. So I was rolled in and 1, 2, 3, 4... put to sleep. I woke up and the doctor told my mom that he was able to manipulate my neck under an x-ray, which caused my facets to jump back into place. This meant only one surgery .You guys, I was never supposed to walk again, yet here I am sharing my story six years later (!!!)
I was then placed in a halo and into ICU, where Kellie was three doors down with her halo on, as well. A week later I was moved up to the trauma floor where, for the first time, I stood up. Since my artery was occluded (cut off), there was not enough blood going to my brain, so I would faint. And faint. And faint... (This is still an issue to this day)
A week after this, I was transported by an ambulance to SHARP Rehab, where I was to learn to walk again and learn how to perform daily activities like going to the bathroom or brushing my teeth. I was basically a child again learning how to do everything. I was told I would be there for 6 weeks, but with the power of my Almighty God, I left WALKING OUT in EIGHT days. More therapy continued at home through my hospital for months, but I was alive, walking, talking, AND I had my best friend to look like an alien with. However, trying to cope with the fact that I had lost scholarships for soccer in college was not an easy thing.
About 7 months after the accident, I became very depressed again, still had anxiety, and developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It was my senior year of high school, first year of my life that I was not allowed to plan sports. I turned to alcohol again and again, until I ended up blacked out at a football game, taken to the ER, minutes from being dead. A week after that, I was blacked out and my friend’s mom drove me home to my mother, where I threw up in the front yard.
When would enough be enough? Was I trying to take my life, again, after surviving a miracle?
A man and his family was placed into my life and revealed who Jesus Christ was to me. My father, my Savior, my comforter, who sees me as His perfect and wonderful daughter that He created. In June 2012, I committed my life to Jesus Christ, was baptized, and never looked back. I attended Azusa Pacific University (APU) for 3.5 years and graduated in December of 2015 with my BA in Psychology (concentration of ministry) and a Minor in Youth Ministry. Long story short about college, APU completely rocked my world.
I am still in pain on a daily basis and will have many medical problems the rest of my life, but I choose to praise God in the storm. I whole-heartedly believe that God is allowing this pain in order for me to remember, to run to Him, to rely on Him, and to bring others into His kingdom. I have been blessed beyond understanding with the friends that have been placed into my life when I wholly surrendered everything to Him and let go of the bad in my life.
I have been, and still am, on anti-depressant medication and I am not afraid. The way that I feel pulled to youth and showing them that Jesus is not that far away and wants you no matter how far you are amazes me and puts a smirk on my face to God, knowing that this was His plan all along. He didn’t ‘let’ me get into the accident, he ‘allowed’ it, and gave me the strength along the way to endure whatever obstacle came, and will come, my way.
I currently am a Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT) and work with kids that have autism. I will be starting school again in June in order to pursue my Masters and credential to be a Kindergarten teacher.
I believe that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I do not know exactly what my future hold, but I know WHO hold my future, and with that, I am secure.