A Story of Triumph After Setback

May 6, 2016

Angela, who was recently interviewed for our website, rediscovered a sense of herself she feared was lost after her injury. “The hardest part was not being able to do things independently. I was 15-years-old and just starting to get a taste of independence” when she was injured in a diving accident on her school swim team that left her with quadriplegia.

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Angela, 20 years post-injury

That was back in 1996. And for nearly all of the 20 years since her injury, Angela has focused on building a life filled with the independence she thought she had lost. She found a way to graduate from high school with her classmates by creating a schedule that worked with her new disability. She was the first person in a wheelchair to live in her college dorm, where she developed a system of hiring occupational therapy students to help with her care. She graduated in four years with a BA in Psychology, and then went on to graduate and post-graduate training which involved her re-locating to four different cities to complete her education.

She even rediscovered her love of sports. “I ended up getting involved in wheelchair ice hockey when I was in high school, and that was such a powerful and empowering experience for me because that was the first time that I felt like an athlete again.” She still enjoys adaptive water skiing.

Angela is now a rehabilitation psychologist who works with veterans who have both new and chronic spinal cord injuries. She of her ability to reclaim herself: “If there’s something that’s been really, really important to me, I’ve been able to find a way to do it.”

2 responses to “A Story of Triumph After Setback”

  1. Maggi Budd, Boston says:

    You are so beautiful, inside and out, and just by being you makes the world a better place. I am honored to have known you for the past decade and feel privileged to call you my friend and colleague. Thanks for sharing YOU!

  2. Debbie Wager says:

    Amazing and inspiring story!

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