Hello and welcome again to our wonderful addition to the family, #GoDoFly!
As you know by now, we are all about motivating people and making sure you move forward the best way possible. If you want to check out more about #GoDoFly check out the following page:
The Always Believer
Now, let’s proudly present Sabrina Dellinger. As we were searching the web for interesting and motivational stories, her name popped up! And boy, are we glad that we did! She is a true story inspiration, having a bad car crash leaving her with a spinal cord injury, she discovered a new life. As some friends left her side, she learnt much more about life. The people who stayed with her, the new people in her life and everything she surrounds herself with is in true spirit of not giving up. She continues wanting to live her dream, being a photographer and much more.
Let’s give it up!
1) How do you define yourself?
If I had to pick one word to define myself as, I would say spontaneous. I’m always down for an adventure and would just pack up my bags and go right now if I could
2) What is your #GoDoFly story?
I was honestly like most teenagers, I loved staying up late and sleeping all day. I hated high school and couldn’t wait to get out. I kept a job to pay my own bills and even won a beauty pageant where I was able to be involved in my community more. Right after high school, I started college hoping to land myself in a job I loved, photography. I had plans of moving out on my own and I had just started my first full time job where I was making good money and I felt like I was set. I had a good group of friends who were always going to school and working but we still found time to see each other and keep close. I loved being a young adult with the freedoms I had. It was awesome.
June 13 2012 started out like most mornings for me, I woke up late and was rushing to get out of the house. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my makeup bag and ran out the door. I don’t remember much from that morning but I do remember the annoying buzzer telling me to put my seat belt. I never wore my seat belt and that sound never bothered me until that day – I put it on. Not even 10 minutes after leaving my house, I swerved to miss an animal and lost control of my car. I was headed straight for a huge ditch and my first instinct was to over correct, so I did. After I over corrected, my car shot off into the other lane of traffic and slid sideways over a culvert. I rolled a total of one and a half times and landed on my roof.
I knew I needed to call for help. I couldn’t find my cell phone and where I was at, nobody could see my car. So I started honking my horn and someone who lived down the street from where I crashed came to see what the noise was. I stayed conscious throughout the whole thing.. Once the paramedics got there, my hair caught fire on my dome light and they had to use the ‘jaws of life’ (a paramedic tool) to pull me out feet first. So many faces stood around my car, some crying, some cheering.
Once I got into the ambulance, they tested my legs. I had been complaining about my legs feeling as if they were swollen and the paramedics knew I wasn’t able to move them. I don’t remember the first time I heard I was paralyzed, all I remember really is talking to my dad on the phone in the back of an ambulance. He was crying and all I could say was, “Don’t worry Dad, I’m okay. They just have to take me in for some tests. I’m going to be alright.” Things are kind of a blur at that point. I just knew I had to find strength in me to fight until I was safe.
News of my accident spread pretty fast. In the world of social media, I think the internet knew I was injured before my family did.
The hospital I was taken to was a few hours away from my home town and so everyone had to drive to see me. My friends and family took the news really hard. I kind of feel like I lost of lot of friends after my wreck. I had a boyfriend at the time who seemed so supportive but when the real-ness of my paralysis sank in, we broke up. The thing about spinal cord injuries is that it doesn’t just affect the person injured, it affects everyone around them. I was completely dependent on others to take care of me. I needed someone around me every second I was awake because I couldn’t do anything for myself.
I found being a young adult in the hospital really depressing.
Every moment I was awake I wanted someone in my family in my room, I didn’t want to be alone. After leaving the ICU, I was sent to a rehab hospital where I spent my days working on getting stronger. I had my mom stay in the room with me so I wasn’t ever alone there either. The insurance I have allowed me to stay at this hospital for about a month and then I was sent to a nursing home. The nursing home was the first time I’d ever been alone since my crash and I hated it. I think that’s when a lot of my anxiety started. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep and having nightmares of my car accident again. It was probably the lowest I’ve been in my life because I had nothing but time to think about everything.
Something I was so used to having was taken away from me in an instant, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I felt so sorry for myself but I realized that feeling sorry for myself wasn’t getting me anywhere. I knew I had to stay positive and fight to get what I wanted back. I couldn’t just sit around and wait for things to come my way, I had to make them happen for myself.
I’m thankful for a lot of things when it comes to my accident. One of the most important things is that I was wearing a seat belt. I was told that if I wouldn’t have put on my seat belt that morning, the chances of me living through an accident as serious of mine would have been little to none – I would have been thrown out of the vehicle.
The way the car had landed, it would have crushed my body, killing me instantly.
I also get to share my story through my blog and YouTube videos. I love being able to spur this way. A lot of people write to me and tell me they are going through something similar and finding my blog helped them keep pushing through life. It’s hard for a lot of people to maintain a positive attitude through tough times but that’s what I want to spread to others – finding positivity even in the worst of times.
My accident made me grow up a lot. I lost my ability to walk, my job and I even lost a few friends. In return I gained a new outlook on life, better relationships with people in my life who mean the most to me and a stronger relationship in my faith. It’s totally been a learning experience and I’ve grown so much as a person. I’ve also met so many amazing people who have inspired me greatly.
None of these things would have been possible if it weren’t for my accident. I still have plans on going to college for photography and I’ll eventually get a place of my own. Being in a wheelchair at first almost stopped me from pursing my dreams of photography but now I use it to fuel my passion and prove all the naysayers wrong. There’s beauty in sinking ships, positive in every negative situation, you just have to find it and hold on to it. My wheelchair won’t ever stop me from reaching my dreams but instead reminds me of how far I’ve come.
3) What gets you through the tough times and what inspires you now?
My family. My family is so important to me and I am so thankful to have such a wonderful support system behind me. My sister is my best friend and she is seriously so wonderful.
4) How did you get involved in the blogging world?
I followed blogs when I was in high school and wanted a place to share my own thoughts so I started one my senior year of high school and have been doing it since! I love it!
5) Any other advice?
If you want something, go for it. I know that’s cliche but nothing is ever impossible.
I ’m a twenty year old blogger from the Midwest, USA. After a car accident left me paralyzed, my blog became a place to share my story and spread awareness about spinal cord injuries. I enjoy photography, graphic design and meeting new people. I’m currently attending Project Walk, a spinal cord injury rehab center where I hope to get as much function back as possible.
Remember if you want to participate in our #GoDoFly movement, send an email to: email@example.com
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Thanks for the read,
The Always Believer
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