“One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”

– Brene Brown

I suppose the best way to start something new is to just start, right? Well, you’re looking at someone that literally almost lost her head. Yes, that’s correct. I have what’s called an AOD or atlanto-occipital dissociation. I was internally decapitated on October 8, 2021, but more of that later!

Prior to my injury, I was a paramedic for 11 years- mostly in a rural setting. I worked in the community in which I live which happens to be a very small town in Alabama. I have the most amazing, supportive husband and I’m the proud mother of two incredible teenagers. My closest friends and family members would describe me as *extra spicy*, but I would describe myself as straight-forward, no bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is type, but still super empathetic and tender-hearted (although I like to keep the empathetic and tender-hearted part under wraps as much as possible because ew, feelings).

As a paramedic it was my job to take care of sick and injured people on the worst days of their lives, but communication with patients and their family members is one skill that we were never really taught, but one that we had to learn over time. Make no mistake- effective communication is in fact a S K I L L when in the midst of people screaming, crying and trying to die on you. Now that I’ve been through what I’ve been through (again, more on that later), I KNOW what it’s like to be helpless and unable to communicate. I KNOW what it’s like to be having the worst day of my life and feel like people only see me as a sack of meat that they just do procedures on. I KNOW what it’s like to be conscious and aware, but paralyzed and unable to tell the people drilling into my head and cutting on my neck that I’m still in here. But you know what? Despite all the odds stacked against me, and I do mean ALL THE ODDS, I made it through, and I have the ability to communicate again. I want to use my voice to tell my story and to advocate for others going through similar situations. Stay tuned as I try to put this incredible journey into words!

19 thoughts on “Prologue

  1. You’re the strongest woman I know! I am so happy of what you overcame to be where you’re at today! I’m blessed to call you my friend and former coworker!

  2. That’s a good start to what I already know is an amazing story of an amazing woman. I hope all your feelings can find words so that others may find hope.

  3. As a trauma survivor myself, I can’t imagine how helpless you must have felt. I thought I went through a lot falling out of the sky hitting the ground hard, crushing my L-5, severe tib fib fractures in my lower legs, right pneumothorax and dislocated right shoulder. I was a hot mess and the doctors didn’t think I would make it through the first few nights.

    You however, have described my worst fear and I haven’t read all of your story yet. I can’t wait to read more of what you have to say! Thank you for sharing.

  4. I have read your first blog and am very intrigued to hear your story.
    I am a survivor of a traumatic Spinal Cord injury at the age of 15, 47 years ago! I have always been interested in hearing other survivors stories and I truly look forward to hearing yours.

  5. I just know this is going to be a great story (you know what I mean). I know your story and have known you for many years. I told you on many occasions, your personal story will save someone out there and inspire many. I love you girl!

  6. Thank you for sharing your amazing survival story!!! You are very inspiring and so is Lee — caregivers suffer so much and too frequently won’t receive the support they need and deserve. I’m glad to hearLee say the people helping you were wonderful to him, as well. Watching a loved one in agony because of trauma is trauma for the caregiver. I sincerely appreciate you and your husband taking the time to create these most informative videos.

  7. Hi I’m Barbara I have watched up to no 3 of your blog I think you are so brave to tell your story I’m so glad you are still here I’m looking forward to more of your stories keep up the good work you are doing a good job to inspire other people who have had any kind of trauma they will see you can survive if you work hard and have loving support that you have.

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