How am I not paralyzed?

How am I not paralyzed?

Posted by Andi on Aug 13, 2015 10:54 am

I still don't know the answer.

Around 10:30 pm on October 23, 1992, I was alone when I fell asleep at the wheel. I woke up to see the car heading into a field. I panicked, grabbed the steering wheel, and turned. Everything went black. I heard glass breaking. I heard screaming. I heard something crack and then...nothing.

I opened my eyes and saw a little girl in front of me. She was wearing a flower print blue dress. I guessed she was around three or four years old. She stood in a field of hay, looking down. The wind was blowing. She looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. I wanted to know what she was looking at and instantly, I was her (long story here to be discussed later).

I fractured C2 and C3 and had a hairline fracture on C1 and C4. After arriving at the hospital, for two hours, my doctor refused to see me. He thought the nurses were joking when they told him I was in ICU because he found no evidence to indicate I survived the accident. Eventually, he came in, informing my father there was no way I should be alive and that I was now a quadriplegic. My father argued with the doctor. The doctor then said that at the very least, I was a paraplegic. My dad said, "Maybe you should go in there."

I was neither.

I felt everything.

I could move everything.

My doctor had no explanation. He eventually told me that in his 30 years of medicine, he had never seen anyone survive or walk away from such an injury.

They soon found out why.

The gap in the back of my neck is larger than others. Because of the added gap, my spinal cord had room to move when my neck broke, keeping it from hitting the back of my neck and snapping.

They could not explain it.

I had no surgery. I had no halo. I wore a sponge brace for six months. But, C2 and C3 were less than a fingernail width from complete separation, so I had to be careful.

One month after having my neck brace removed, I fell into an auditorium pit (I later learned the pit would fall on its own) when trying to turn on the auditorium lights. Again, the doctor's couldn't explain how I made it through.

Three years after my car accident, a speeding semi lost control and hit me. I saw my doctor again. He said the cartilage around my neck had strengthened my neck and I could play sports again. I could play softball again.

Looking at this site, I wonder, "Why me" when so many others were not this fortunate. I want to do what I can to help because God put me here for a reason - He kept me walking for a reason. There is still one day when I may lose this privilege. The degeneration is setting in and I'm only 39 years old. For now, though, I want to find the reason. I want to help.

Re: How am I not paralyzed?

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Aug 19, 2015 2:55 pm

What an extraordinary story with a very powerful ending. So many people face adversity and say "why me, what have I done to deserve this?" Of course there is no answer and never will be.

But I invite everyone to do what you've just done. Look around you, see nature. See people in your life who love you who you love. Look in your kitchen and see the food in your pantry knowing so much of the world doesn't have that. And then look to the heavens and say: "why me, what have I done to deserve this?".

And the follow-up question is exactly how you have posed it: "what can I do to repay these gifts I have received?"

In Judaism, we are going into our High Holidays, the new year and renewal. And we are reminded of our calling for "Tukun Olam" which means "heal the world". We are reminded as members of the human family that it is our responsibility to make the world a better place for our children and our children's children.

You are raising some of the most important questions we, as humans, can ask. I thank you for that

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