My trauma occurred on November 1, 2009. I was sitting rear passenger at the spot of impact with my four college roommates from Penn State, when we were T-boned by an oncoming car. I remember everything in full detail: knowing we were about to be hit, hearing the ambulance, being cut out of the car, and most prominently being scared for my roommates.
I had a collapsed lung, lacerations to both kidneys and my liver, a ruptured bladder and a ruptured spleen. My pelvis broke in 5 places and I had 5 broken ribs. It was later discovered that I also suffered from a stroke at this point as well. After 2 days at a local Pennsylvania hospital I was flown to Shock Trauma where I underwent another emergency surgery.
The first week was touch and go while the teams were still determining all the medical issues. I stayed at the Shock Trauma Center for just under a month. After 3 weeks, I was able to go home with my parents. They took care of me along with a home nurse and physical therapist.
On January 4, 2010, I was cleared to walk with no crutches, begin more intense physical therapy and most importantly go back to school. On January 18, 2010 I went back to Penn State and completed my Spring Semester. After a summer of more intense physical therapy, I have returned to school and am caught up with my course work. I will also be rejoining the cheerleading team where I will back to stunting and tumbling.
I am currently volunteering as a Peer Visitor. The reason I want to volunteer is because I was visited by one while I was in the Trauma Center. I don't think he'll ever understand the impact he had on me. When he left my room I knew I wanted to get better. I also knew that I wanted to volunteer and help others. Whether he was listening, encouraging or ensuring me, it was a life changing hour. If I can give another patient half of what he gave me then it makes volunteering worthwhile.