A woman, who was napping in the back seat of her friend's car, woke up and noticed that she had become paralyzed after a horrible car accident.
In April 2008, Tammy Le from San Jose, California, slept in the car when a driver cut off her boyfriend and swung the boyfriend to prevent him from colliding.
The vehicle collided with a concrete lane divider and when Le, then 17 years old, woke up, she was upside down and unable to move her arms or legs.
At the hospital, doctors told her that she was paralyzed from the breast and would spend the rest of her life as a quadriplegic.
Le, now 28, says that she has recovered some movement in her arms during the recovery and wants to encourage others that there is life after paralysis.
Tammy Le, 28, from San Jose, California, was napping in the back seat of her friend's car when a driver cut them off, and the friend turned around to prevent a collision. Pictured: Le, left, wears a halo brace and a fan
The car crashed into a concrete lane distributor and Le (left and right) was rushed to the hospital. This is when doctors discovered that two vertebrae had been shattered and that her spine required reconstruction
At the time of the accident, Le was a high school senior – just two months away from graduation – and worked in two part-time jobs.
& # 39; Aside from hearing a lot of cries in my deep sleep, I don't remember much, & # 39; said Le.
& # 39; I woke upside down with the car on top of my head and all the windows around me were shattered. & # 39;
Le was rushed to emergency surgery, where doctors discovered that her C4 / C5 vertebrae, which operate the diaphragm and muscles in the upper arms, were broken.
Surgeons reconstructed her backbone and staffs. Le spent three months in the hospital when she began to process her new life as a quadriplegic.
To move, the brain sends a signal to the spinal cord. Nerve cells in the spinal cord then direct the muscles in the legs to move.
When people are paralyzed, the neurons that receive signals from the brain are damaged, meaning that they cannot control the muscles.
& # 39; I initially wondered why it felt so good to be paralyzed, but then I realized that they had induced me with a lot of morphine, & # 39; said Le.
& # 39; The discouraging moment when I realized how great my situation was when they told me that I was unable to drink water or eat anything. I now have a deeper gratitude for food and I never thought it would be a luxury to feed myself. & # 39;
Doctors said she was paralyzed by the accident and that she would be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life. Pictured: Le during a rehabilitation center
Le spent three months in the hospital and was told that she only had to learn to eat before she could be fired. Pictured: Le during a training session
Le was slowly weaned off the fan and she had to learn to eat again before she could be fired.
After finally showing weight gain, she was allowed to go home – three days before her eighteenth birthday.
Le was immediately placed in physical therapy and has since recovered some movement in her arms and hands.
& # 39; I was engaged in core training, electrical stimulation, and also walking people to practice walking to get below my level of injury & # 39 ;, Le said.
& # 39; After that it wasn't just the physical rehabilitation that I had to deal with, it was also emotional and mental. It is still going on but I have now accepted the ebb and flow of my life, and this injury. & # 39;
Le is now practicing at home by pushing around her hand-wheeled wheelchair and by using resistance bands and combat ropes.
She credits her family and her friends by helping her adopt a positive attitude, but also acknowledging that when she & # 39; only have time & # 39; need.
At this time, Le (left and right) practice exercises at home and use resistance bands and battle ropes to regain strength and movement. She also credits her family and her friends to help her adopt a positive attitude
Le has some movement in her arms again and hopes that her recovery offers hope to others. Pictured: Le with her caregiver's daughter
Le says it hopes that her recovery will inspire others who are in a similar situation not to give up hope.
& # 39; In the first few years after the crash, my strength and happiness were a facade because I felt it was a duty to see if I was okay, & she said.
& # 39; Now, for my own self-acceptance and mental health, I consciously breathe through every thought to avert negative and critical.
& # 39; Sometimes we do not know, nor can we determine what life imposes on us, but it is important to remember that you always have a choice as to how to respond and control the situation. Where there is a will there is a way. & # 39;
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