I am so thankful to be alive. It has been nearly 20 years since my accident. As my anniversary approaches, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my family and friends for all of their love and support throughout my journey. I have been blessed beyond measure.
On January 27, 1995, I was crossing the street and was struck by a car on 3300 South 300 East, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury and pelvic fracture. It was a real challenge to relearn how to feed myself, dress myself, and walk without assistance. I was in the hospital for five weeks and underwent speech and physical therapy for six months. I had to retrain my brain to perform simple tasks such as word puzzles, sewing, needlepoint with plastic canvas and many other things.
It still find it hard to believe that I am now a “disabled” person. For about a year, I was extremely depressed. All I would do was eat and sleep, and I gained 70 pounds. When I was having a good day I would have a tendency to overexert and make myself ill for days, like having a bad dose of the flu.
Life is more challenging now, and I cannot do as much as I used to do. I have learned to pace myself. There are times when I still overdo it and end up sick the next day. But instead of staying in bed, I get up, shower and dive into one of my hobbies, which has proved to be very therapeutic. Over time, my hobbies have helped me improve my motor skills and speed, even reduce the amount of medication I take.
In celebration, I am rebuilding my life. I joined VASA Fitness to get back into shape and have already lost 25 pounds. I am taking computer classes and learning how to start my own business, Tammi’s Custom Jewelry & Gifts, through Vocational Rehabilitation. I am spending more time with my lovely granddaughter and friends.
I am no longer angry. I do not blame God or feel sorry for myself. I try to stay positive. A person’s life doesn’t have to end just because they’re disabled. I have grown to appreciate life more, especially the small things. You see, things happen for a reason, and I will try to make the most of the hand I’ve been dealt. “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Life is a gift.