My life changed forever on March 3, 2012. Some may consider me disabled now, but I don't think the prosthetic limb I will wear is a sign of loss. It will be a symbol of empowerment and a reminder to embrace life and overcome fear.
That day turned my world upside down. For a approximately 1 second I knew I was going to be hit by a car. I'm still amazed that I remember the events of that day so clearly, yet my month in the hospital is all a blur.
Here's my story~
I was driving from New York City to an audition in South Jersey. I never made it to that audition. I was in a slight fender bender – my first ever car accident. I was shaken up but the other driver and me were fine and had little damage to our cars. We parked on the shoulder of the causeway and as we leaned against the guardrail chatting, waiting for the police to arrive, the unthinkable happened. I saw a car speed around the curve behind us. The driver quickly lost control and hit the guardrail across from us. In the matter a second these thoughts raced through my mind – “Will that car hit us? No way. Yes it will! Jump over the guardrail!” Without even the chance to scream, it was too late; we were both hit and I was flung over the guardrail and into some muddy grass.
I couldn’t move, my body was in shock. All I could do was scream at the top of my lungs, “Help, HELP! HELP!!!” I quickly realized my iphone was still in my hand, unscathed (unbelievable!). As I turned my head my second realization was not so promising – I couldn’t see my left boot. My shoe was gone, which led me to believe that so was the flesh inside it. Panic sunk it, but luckily good samaritans came to my aid. A father and his 10 year old daughter held my hand and called my dad. Not ten minutes earlier I had called him to say I was in an accident but everything was fine. This call was much more somber. As I choked back tears I told my parents, who were 2 hours away from me, that I had lost my leg. They immediately started driving towards me.
Once the paramedics got to the accident they kept my parents updated as to which hospital would take me. Those minutes spent waiting for the ambulance were the scariest moments of my life. I wondered if I had other injuries, if the blood by my head indicated a head injury, and why was I still conscious?! I cried for my loss; I cried for my pain; I blamed myself for the accident; and I cried for my dreams of singing and dancing on Broadway being dashed (I didn’t know then what I know now about the amazing world of prosthetics). I also cried for the kindness of strangers. When a person loses a limb due to illness they are in the hospital surrounded by their loved ones. But in my case, my mom wasn’t there to hold my hands and tell me everything would be O.K. I had a stranger’s hand to hold. Lucky for me, a wonderful woman pulled over and rushed to my side. She talked to me and helped me stay hopeful while we waited.
As I write today I’m still waiting for my wound to heal so I can start walking again. I have good days and bad days, but I’m happy to say that I now have a closer bond with my parents, brothers, extended family, and friends. With their support and the aid of my talented team of surgeons, doctors, nurses, and therapists, my dreams of hitting the Broadway stage have not – and will never – be extinguished.
I wrote a song about the accident for my family, I haven't made it public on Youtube yet, but here's the link - I guess if you've read this you must be caring enough not to judge me on the poor quality of this video! But I hope you like the song:)