In 2011, Maria was in a horrific crash that left her a paraplegic. She also had multiple injuries to her body, and she spent many months recovering at Shepherd Center in Atlanta Georgia.
At the time of her injury, Maria’s children were two and five years old. And while she saw other family members regularly, her children only visited her briefly.
"The hardest part was being away from them, and they became my reason to fight."
After 7 months in the hospital, Maria felt more than ready to return home to her family. But when she got there, she realized she wasn’t as independent as she hoped she would be. “Once I got home, I realized I could do nothing for myself,” she shares. “I couldn’t even transfer because I only had one good arm.”
So Maria made a tough decision. She returned to Shepherd Center’s day program to build up the independent life skills she needed in order to move forward with her life.
"As hard as I knew it was going to be leaving my family again, I knew not living to my full potential would be even harder. I owed this to my family and to myself."
Maria endured a grueling therapy schedule. And in the end, she was able to transition from a power wheelchair to a manual one, walk with the aid of leg braces, and drive a car! One of the biggest milestones for Maria came when she finally transitioned home permanently. She started working again as a teacher, and was named Teacher of the Year in her school system.
“Today, I am living life to the fullest with my amazing husband and our two beautiful children.”
Be sure to share this post to show how perseverance came make a huge difference not only in your life, but in the lives of those you love as well!