Sweet 16

Photo sourced: www.pickthebrain.com

Few people can say that they were given a second chance at life.

A decision to remove my seatbelt in the front passenger seat of the car while it was still moving, climb over into the back to tend to my baby was most likely the reason I was left a C4 quadriplegic after an accident a few seconds later. For a while, I was attached to a ventilator, unable to even breathe on my own.

April is my anniversary month. It’s been sixteen years. I can hardly believe it.

If it were a marriage I’d be getting a gift of silver.

Instead, life itself is my gift – every day. That is reason enough to celebrate.

If it were a birthday, it would be my sweet 16 – a coming of age and time to pull up my big girl panties.

Although the daily challenges, physical and psychological, are many and living life paralysed from the neck down is tough, it’s not impossible.

It’s been so worth it. I’m grateful to have shared sixteen more years on this earth with all the people that I love, including being present in celebrating my son’s sweet 16th birthday in June last year.

Besides being surrounded by my incomparable parents, family and friends, I have the love, care and support of this Lowveld community, many of whom I have never even met.

The year has already been good to me so I have much to be thankful for.

People tend to put me up on a pedestal, often labelling me an inspiration, when all I do is sit dead still, give orders and smile. Behind-the-scenes there are an army of people who work tirelessly to tend to my every need.

They are the true heroes of my story.

An African proverb says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child”.

That may be so.

But, it takes an entire community of Earth Angels to enable a quadriplegic to live a full, meaningful life.

I thank God for each and every one who touches my life and makes a difference.

And to you, my blog readers, thank you for supporting me in this journey. Thank you for sharing my posts with your friends on Facebook and your followers on Twitter. Never underestimate the power of the difference that you make.

Tracy Todd

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