Surviving Summer

“I am a survivor- a living example of what a person can go through and survive.”- Elizabeth Taylor”

As summer of 2014 comes to a close, I can’t say that I will miss it. This summer has by far been one of the most challenging times of my life, but I survived. I have no idea how I would have made it this far without my amazing family and friends. The last time I updated, I was in the hospital. I ended up spending eight weeks inpatient and seven of those weeks were spent in the ICU. I felt like the hospital stay from hell would never end, but I SURVIVED. I will never forget the day that I was discharged from that crazy hospital admission; when suddenly my outlook on life changed completely. I remember complaining about the Carolina heat as I climbed from my wheelchair to the inside of our car. Within seconds of complaining about the sun, I wished that I could have taken that comment back. I was lucky to feel the sun on my skin. I realized that other patients who had been on the same floor of the hospital may not ever have the opportunity to feel the sun again, and in that moment I decided to enjoy everything for them. I hoped that if the roles had been switched, one of the other patients would have made the decision to enjoy every moment of their lives (even the bad ones) for me.

My life is much like a war zone. One day I am confidently cruising down a road that leads to freedom, and the next I realize that I’ve just detonated a bomb that was hidden in my path. As the area surrounding me goes up in flames, nearby witnesses stumble around helplessly because they have no idea how to save me. I start to panic when my brain processes that this could be the last mission of my life. At the very last moment, a brave soul decides to take a risk and manages to pull me out of the debris. I make it out alive and escape the scene with my body intact. If it weren’t for a few scars, you would have no idea that I had just survived a major catastrophe.

Just as I started to think that I couldn’t keep fighting any longer, an amazing doctor went completely out of his way to help me. I’m so thankful for the doctors, nurses, family, and friends that kept me going this summer. It has been a rough road, but I’ve learned so much along the way. Looking back on everything that has happened, I can’t help but to be anything other than happy. I have amazing family and friends who never fail to make me smile. I’m making exciting plans for the future and know that I have a bright life ahead of me. I’m just happy to be here.

– Survivor of Summer 2014