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‘I mouthed, ‘I can breathe.’ Dark voices started whispering inside my head. ‘I am scared to be a mother.’: Young woman survives near-fatal wreck, beats all odds, ‘My journey isn’t over but I’m starting to feel like ME again’

“I was in a medically induced coma for 17 days. I awakened to some very dark news. The doctors said, ‘You will probably never move more than 2 fingers.’ I am hearing this, but I can’t respond. I could not talk. I wondered why I was still alive. Prior to the wreck, I had long thick hair. They started washing it. Nurses were pulling out glass and other debris. I begged them not to cut it, as it was all I had left of my previous self.”

‘My family said, ‘I told you so.’ Why didn’t I notice it? I wanted to pretend it never happened.’: Mom first denies son’s autism diagnosis, now advocates for ‘acceptance, inclusion’

“We vacuum when he’s not home, use the blender in the garage and I can’t blow dry my hair unless he’s asleep. Once he sees the appliance, it’s an instant tantrum. Truth be told, I’m scared. Scared he’ll be bullied for being different. I’m so, so, terrified of that. ‘Is he going to live a ‘normal’ life? Will he get married, have kids?’ I still feel broken at times.”

‘All babies born premature are floppy, aren’t they? We never noticed looking at our beautiful baby boy.’: After first child is ‘born sleeping,’ mom has son with Down syndrome, he’s the ‘life of the party’

“We were at a party. A little boy came up to me. ‘Why isn’t Riley talking to me? I’m asking him questions and he won’t answer me.’ Our son has Down syndrome. After learning Riley will be going to mainstream school, one parent asked, ‘How will he be able to get along with other children?’ It was like BANG. He is his own character, the same as every child.”

‘You’re paralyzed from the waist down.’ I was thrown 50 feet and landed on my back. I was told I’d never walk again.’: Woman makes amazing recovery after car accident, ‘My journey isn’t over’

“I remember my first thought being ‘Lilly!’ I tried to get up, but couldn’t move. I couldn’t feel. I couldn’t do anything. Seconds later, someone screamed, ‘Say something, say something!’ And all I said was, ‘Help.’ I was life-flighted. I died that day. I took my last breath when first responders put me in that helicopter. EMT’s did chest compressions the whole way. I was rushed straight in the OR. No one knew if I would even make it through the night.”

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