Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Fighting for My Life

Name: Reilly Nelson
From: Scottsdale , Arizona
Grade: Sophomore in College
School: Scottsdale Community College
Votes: 0

for My Life

heart is still beating. I made it. After rolling eight times, I’m
still here because I was wearing my seat belt. I’m not exactly sure
what happened, due to my memory being wiped away, but every new day
feels like a dream. When I wake up in the morning, the day prior is
just a blur. I was a passenger in an f150, going 75 mph on the
freeway. Before I could comprehend what was happening, the impact
caused us to skid into the median. As were flipping in mid-air,
everything just went black. If I wasn’t wearing my seat belt, I
would have been ejected on the first roll, let alone eight, before
ending up on the other side of the freeway in the dirt. Just one week
after graduating high school, my life was taken completely out of my
control by a man high on meth.

was fighting for my life while I was bleeding to death from the roof
caving in and degloving my scalp. The seat belt wrapped around my
neck, choking me. It felt like I forgot how to breathe. The trauma
team informed my family that I had approximately two hours to live
before bleeding out from my head wound. After immediate surgery, I
was in a coma for seven days. After waking up I was unable to
recognize my own sister. Why was I hooked up to all of these wires
with a big machine breathing for me? The pain from breaking my neck
and back were the least of my worries. Yet I did question, will I
ever walk again? Today, because of my determination and will, I am
trying to hike the biggest mountain in Arizona.

Multiple doctors stated I would
never be able to start college and fulfill my dreams of becoming a
nurse, but I believe God had other plans for me. I am currently
enrolled in the disability center at Scottsdale Community College,
working with a private tutor due to my traumatic brain injury, whom I
pay with money from my own pocket. Often times, it is difficult to
maintain a job due to my injuries, which effects my ability to pay my
college tuition. My short-term memory loss is improving, and I
believe that I can make it through my exams with lots of studying and
hard work. I struggle with perception and concentration during the
professor’s lectures, but I continue to meet with them every week
to help me better understand the lessons. After the experience of
breaking my neck and back, having open head surgery, several foot
surgeries, and two years of physical therapy, I have now changed my
degree to a doctorate in physical therapy. I have a story, a story
that will help other patients I work with in the future.

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