Would you like to participate in a research study about gratitude? Learn More
Sally, a former Penn State cheerleader, was fit and very physical - even competing in triathlons. On January 9, 2013, all that ended, and her life was changed forever. Out for a jog, she was nearly killed after being hit by a car. She continues to suffer from a litany of medical issues, and expenses are piling up.
That evening, Sally was jogging along the road. Though she was wearing head-to-toe reflective gear and carried a halogen flashlight, she was struck while crossing the road at a crosswalk. Even though it was dark, the vehicle didn’t have its headlights on.
Sally bounced over the hood, striking the vehicle’s roof and flipping several times before bouncing off the concrete curb and pavement. She ultimately landed on the road in the middle of traffic, suffering a multitude of injuries. Many of them are permanent.
The driver made no attempt to swerve or stop and quickly left the scene before returning fifteen minutes later. She didn’t apologize or show remorse, and it was the driver behind her that called 911 and stopped traffic—ultimately saving Sally from being struck again.
Sally was in intensive care for twelve days before moving to critical care for six weeks. She then moved to an intensive rehabilitation center for another six weeks before many months of daily in-home therapy. Doctors said that if she hadn’t been in such good shape before the crash, she wouldn’t have survived.
Disabled since she was hit, Sally has been fervently doing ocular, vestibular, speech, cognitive, occupational, physical, and PTSD therapies. Now struggling with daily activities, Sally finds it difficult to walk even two city blocks and can’t work or engage in anything physical. Her issues are continuing to degenerate, most recently being episodes in which she loses control of her limbs. She then shakes severely and collapses. This puts her at risk of additional brain and orthopedic damage.
Sally continues to experience new problems. On October 25, 2016, she was in the ER for a new neurological problem, for three days before being transferred to another unit for high level care, followed by a two month stay in a transitional care unit, where she had to relear to walk, again. More recently, Sally fell down the stairs and broke her right knee joint in four places. The fall added additional injuries including complicating issues with her right hip.
Major injuries from initial accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): lost 35% of brain function
- Memory loss
- Very intense and constant migraines
- Speech impairment
- Extreme hyper sensitivity to light
- Extreme hyper sensitivity to sound
- Unstable vision
- Balance problems
- Right eyelid damaged
- Neck: extensive inoperable damage
- Dental damage: loss of several teeth, required reconstruction
- Right TMJ fractured
- Left shoulder torn out of socket
- Right shoulder: torn posterior rotator cuff
- Elbows and wrists hyperextended
- Gallbladder: inoperable damage
- Bladder damaged
- Internal bleeding
- Shattered pelvis
- Ovaries and uterus: crushed, loss of fertility
- Sacrum: broke half of the right wing
- Hamstrings: tore two on right leg & one on left
- Left knee: severe crepitus
- Damaged lumbar spine L2 to S1
- Right hip: severely damaged
- Right knee: complex & severe damage
- Right ankle: dislocated
Ongoing issues and new developments: · All injuries above · New anomalies continue to appear on brain MRIs · Brain matter is shrinking · Gets extremely tired very easily · Has developed periodic instances of an ataxic gate—shakes very hard and loses the ability to control her body and cannot walk
What Sally still needs: · Right shoulder surgery · Left knee surgery · Pelvic surgery · Right knee replacement · Continued brain scans · Neurological rehabilitation · Physical rehabilitations · Continued counseling for PTSD