Kylie Doniak's Journal
2 Years later…..
Written Feb 1, 2014 1:13am by Alyssa DoniakI am not sure if anyone still follows this or not, but just in case I wanted to post about the past year. What a difference a year makes!
Kylie continues to recover in leaps and bounds! The most astonishing thing is that she has been able to return to school! Alyssa attended class with her this past summer and fall, and Ky completed the 2 electives she needed at MSAC. She is now taking her last upper division major class at the University of Texas. The school has been so helpful in getting her re-enrolled and arranging for her to take this class even though she is not actually in Texas. I can't say enough about the wonderful people at UT that have been so supportive and involved in making this happen. Kylie loves the class, and remembers that she was taking it when the accident happened. She even had the books and some notes/papers that she had written when she was in the class 2 years ago!
The one thing that has remained steady from the very beginning is that Kylie wanted to graduate. It's amazing to think that this is going to happen in May. God is good.
Ky continues to work out almost every day. Her strength, fitness and balance have improved greatly. We ran/walked a couple 5K's last year and will be doing a big one at MSAC in April. Alyssa has the both of them on training schedules so there is no messing around with this one!
Kylie is driving and I must say is a much better driver than she used to be! Her memory has improved significantly, but there will always be deficits in this area. She is learning to work around it and use compensation strategies to manage. It can be very frustrating at times for her, and dealing with this frustration is also something we are working on. She has no memory of the accident or the rehab she has gone through, so now that she is so much better, it is hard for her to believe that this happened to her. She doesn't really understand all that she has been through and how far she has come. She has to rely on what we tell her and the pictures we show her to understand the story, but it really doesn't feel real to her. It is hard for me to comprehend what it must fell like to have no memory of a large part of your life. It doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal (just start over and reinvent yourself - haha!) until you really start thinking about it - and then you understand how horrible it would be.
It has been a difficult process watching Kylie gain awareness of her situation and deal with the changes in her life. Her life was taken away and she must rebuild it from scratch. No one should have to endure what Kylie has been through. She is still a stubborn, tough, competitive person and those traits have served to move her forward when many others would have given up. She is also a loving, kind, caring and sweet girl and those traits make it so hard for her mommy to watch her go through this. She has been blessed with the best sisters and best friends who have stood by her and helped in every way imaginable with her recovery. They have put up with a lot at times, and never left her side, responding with unending love, caring and compassion. We too have been blessed with family and friends who continue to love, support and pray for us as we work towards full recovery for our little girl.
From the very beginning I was told by the doctors/nurses that this process would be a roller coaster. No truer words were ever spoken! We have our good days (or sometimes moments) and we have our bad days (and sometimes moments). The road ahead is long, but we are honored to be chosen to walk it. And we will continue to Walk By Faith.
Kylie's Post :)
Written Feb 2, 2013 8:36pm by Alyssa Doniak
Written by Kylie:
Thank you everyone who has been involved. This has been one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever gone through. I’m still struggling with things today but I’m so thankful I was given another day and I wouldn’t change that for anything. Right now one of the hardest things is my memory. Just thinking things and remembering things is hard right now but I’ll take that of being given another day. And my family works great with that because they know I’m having a hard time remembering and they’re answering all the silly questions I have.
Thank you for anyone who has done things for my family. I don’t think I could do this without having them there for me. My family has put up greatly with any craziness I’ve thrown at them. I’m just so thankful to have another day with them. I would also take this again if one of my sisters doesn’t have this happen to them. They are working amazingly at all the silly questions I throw at them and they never make me feel sad for anything I throw at them.
I’ve been back to Texas since the accident. I was given the opportunity to speak at the half time of a soccer game for the Bev Kearney Award. This was such an honor for me. This is just another way for anyone to thank God. He got me safely back there and safely home.
It's funny now because a lot of people think I should be mad that this happened, but I’m not. I’m just thankful to be given another day and thankful that this didn’t happen to one of my sisters. I don’t think I could have reacted as good as they have helping me.
God is the only one. I’ve never questioned my belief in Him after having this happen to me. He was the only reason I got another day. I think He gave me another day because I’m suppose to make a difference in someone’s life. I wish I could tell you exactly why He gave me another day but I can’t. That’s the beauty of His power.
What I’m doing right now:
Right now I’m working on getting better. Everyday me and my sister start at the gym. I try to help my mom with dinner. I’m writing everything now in a journal so I can remember. Then we see what the day throws at us.
I’m starting to work each week at a family friend's classroom. English isn’t the students' first language and I’m working with them on reading. I’m really excited about this. It’s awesome to see their abilities improve. I also love it because I spoke Spanish so I can understand what they think should be the way to say it. It’s just awesome to help them at a younger age so when they get older they’ll be great. I’m just so thankful to be given this opportunity.
One of the best things is that I didn’t have to handle this crazy year alone. My boyfriend Shane has been there with me every step of the way. This year would have been so much harder if I didn’t have him there for me. Shane has gone through all this craziness with me and he’s still there for me. I don’t think I would try as hard if he wasn’t there. He makes these troubles so much more worth fighting for. So I want to thank Shane for making this all worth fighting for and for putting up with all this craziness
Walk by faith. Always and forever walk by faith.
One Year Anniversary!!!
Written Feb 2, 2013 8:28pm by Alyssa DoniakWritten by Alyssa:
“For I know the plans I have for you declared the Lord. Plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
My mom wrote this verse in the card she gave me when I graduated college. Of course I had heard this quoted many other times, and I thought, what perfectly applicable words to the next journey of my life. Little did I know what God really meant by this, and what He promises us every day through this short verse.
He had a plan on February 3rd, 2012, and He has a plan today as my family and I continue to fight the most difficult battle we have ever come across. God says He will give us a future, He will give us hope, He will give us peace- when we trust in Him and completely turn our hearts over to His loving hands.
The improvements have not been as easy to come by this past six months as they were in the first six months, but they are still present and giving us hope. Kylie’s physical abilities are absolutely amazing. She jogged a 5K in December, and her and me are at the gym every single morning! We do cardio, weights, core, and balance work. She still needs to regain a little of her balance, and her knee causes her pain and gets stiff throughout the day, but other than that she is in great shape.
Kylie’s mental capacities have also improved greatly. She values routine and schedules greatly, and we keep a journal every day of what we do and what she needs to remember to do. Her short-term memory is still not working that well, but she is getting better at forming some longer-term memories of important events. The every day, mundane things don’t stick in her head and she sometimes forgets conversations. I have learned that she learns (and remembers) best by seeing and doing, not by hearing. We are not sure if her memory will ever fully return, but that is not something we spend time worrying about because it is not our plan- it is His! We just figure out ways to make a new normal and ways to work around the challenges we face.
Never have I seen such a strong-minded person face something so terrifying and come out with a more determined nature than before. Kylie motivates every single person around her every day- not only through her words but also through her actions. We all know her brain is still healing, still rewiring, still building new pathways, yet she continues to engage in the world around her the best she can. She makes us laugh every day and her personality is starting to shine through more and more.
I know God still has a lot of healing yet to do, but I can say that I trust in His plan for Kylie, and for my family. In Jeremiah, God promised us His unconditional love, hope, peace and a future, and really, what more could we ask for?