February 10, 2018 is a date I will never forget. I’m sure my mom, family, teammates and close friends won’t either. That was the day of my “Severe Setback”. While travelling to Richmond to a cheerleading competition, my mom and I got into a terrible car accident. Fortunately for me I was sleeping through the accident so I didn’t experience the accident itself. I was rushed to VCU Hospital Trauma Unit in Richmond, VA where I was rushed to Neuro Surgery for 6 hours due to the fractured skull I received in the accident. I had a number of surgeries while in the ICU which included me getting a rod in my leg, and plates in my arm this was because I also suffered from a broken arm, broken leg and some minor cuts and bruises. I also received blood transfusions due to the amount of blood I lost from the head injury.
It was told to my mom that I would be in Neuro ICU for 6 months due to the extent of my injuries and I would have to learn everything all of over again like walking, talking, etc. She was even told due to the brain trauma injury I sustained I may not remember anything once time progressed. I did exceed the doctor’s expectations and actually left VCU Trauma ICU Unit after 1 ½ months. The doctor’s were amazed with all of my progress in such a short time. One of things I do remember while at VCU that helped me is my mom telling me “NaNa stop playing around and let these doctor’s and nurses know what you can do, it’s time to go home, we’ve been here long enough Hun, I know you can do everything they are asking you to do I believe in you.” Even though I did get frustrated at times while in the ICU I had my mom, my PopPop, family and friends there with me, whether physically or Facetime encouraging me that they knew I would be okay.
I was transferred to Kernan Rehabilitation Hospital in Baltimore, MD. At Kernan is where I did my physical, occupational, speech therapy and I think 2 other types of therapy I don’t recall right now 6 days a week. The hardest of the therapies was physical and the one where I had to work on my memory. Physical therapy was hard in the beginning because I had to learn how to walk all over again, the other therapy where they work on helping me with my memory was sometimes frustrating because I couldn’t remember things. From Kernan I went home and was then going to Kennedy Kreiger Institute in Baltimore for outpatient therapy 5 days a week in between numerous doctor’s appointments. I was finally released from Kennedy Kreiger after 2 months of being there which during that time I kept telling my mom I was ready to go back to the gym.
If anyone knows my mom they know she is very over protective when it comes to me, I was expecting her to tell me “No” so I know I had to plead my case first. I told her I’ve been cheering since I was 3 and dancing since 1 ½ and that’s all I know and that I need to get back to what I know so I can hit the mat with my team in December. I even sent her a video of me doing a cartwheel in the house that my cousin recorded while she was running an errand. Of course she looked at me like I was crazy, started crying but she agreed. She called Tonya Rice and had a long conversation with her, she was knows, she’s ready, she’ll be fine.” My mom called my tumbling coach, Coach Derric told him “she’s ready, but I don’t think I am” and he told her “Don’t worry she’ll be fine” I ended up going to the Firehouse and worked on some conditioning exercises and handstands and tumbling on the tumble track. My goal is to get back on the mat and to continue doing what I love after all God saved me and my mom from that accident for a reason. One of the things I about my journey even though it is far from over and I’m not 100%, I had one surgery last week and one more surgery left. I can honestly say my mom and I had sooo much love, prayers and support even now from family, friends and the cheerleading industry it truly amazing.
Be on the lookout for my Ultimate Comeback, once I’m done with the surgeries and therapy I will be stronger and better than ever when I hit the mat!!!
I would like to thank: my entire Crimson Heat Allstar Cheer Gym, my team 5 Alarm, All of the Coaches at Crimson Heat who came to visit me and continue to encourage me, Coach Kelcy, Coach April, Chardae, Black Girls Cheer,Black Girls Cheer Ambassadors, Mrs. Sharita Richardson for coming to visit me from and take selfies with me, Marci, my Aunty Kim Clark, Ms. Adelia Rose from 360 Cheer Cosmetics, Ms. Jessica Raden and the entire Varsity All Star Staff, Varsity Fashionistas, my Cousin Baba, my PaPa, my boyfriend Jared, my best friend Angel, Tonya, KiKi and Jaden Rice, my family, friends and anyone who said a prayer, sent a card, came to visit me for me during this entire ordeal.
Last but not least I want to thank my mom who never left my side and has been through this journey with me side by side never giving up or doubting I would be back to myself and continues to be my inspiration and the person I get my strength and determination from.
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