Walking into the Southfield Public Library I had never been more nervous. She, Alicia, was waiting on me. I walked in, spotted her sitting by the middle booth in the café; I ascended to the table as she waved at me. I sat down, exchanged salutations and began the interview.
Alicia is a 23 year Caucasian woman that was born without any disabilities. For most of her life she was a temporarily able-bodied person, just like me, with the mentality that nothing tragic could happen to her. She went on to explain how and when her mentality changed. She began, “It was a beautiful spring day….May 23, 2007. We were riding to his parents’ house for a family dinner when it happened….The driver did not stop.” I was completely engaged at this point. It was tragic. A truck driver was coming off of the freeway too fast and tried to beat the traffic light at the top of the ramp. He went through the light and smashed right into the side of Alicia’s car. “All I remember was seeing the grill of the truck racing towards us…..it seemed as though it happened in slow motion, like we couldn’t speed up fast enough…..it all went black…”
Alicia began to tear up. I told her that we did not have to continue but she insisted. She began again, “I woke up in a hospital room after 4 days of being in a coma. I opened my eyes and he was sitting by my side asleep. I just sat there looking at him sleep, glad that he was alive. I then looked at my body. All I could see was white.” Alicia lost her right arm in the accident and had severe damage to her spine. The doctors told her that she was very lucky to be alive and that her recovery would be long and painful and that she may never walk again.
“I was not going to give up. I was not going to have him wait on me hand and foot and be a burden to him.” Alicia went through several months of physical therapy. In February 2008, Alicia regained feeling in her legs and she was able to begin the process of walking again on her own....
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