10 months ago Jenny Heim was in a horrific traffic accident landing her in the hospital. Doctors told her she would never walk again. With strength and willpower Jenny aimed to prove everyone wrong. Here is her remarkable story of strength and perseverance – in her own words:
“I was on my way to work when a car slid a few lanes over directly in front of me. The impact was on the passenger side of his car and seconds later I realized what had just happened.
Everything fell silent. I couldn’t make sense of anything no matter how hard I tried. I looked down at my hand and saw a little blood drop on my knuckle, then looked up and saw shattered glass scattered everywhere. My body was numb my mind going a million miles a second. “How bad could it be?” I asked myself. I have no idea how much time has passed by. “Are you ok? Can you hear me? Is there someone I can call for you?” I looked over and saw a man standing there, a pained expression plastered on his face. “Can you hear me? Help is on its way, is there someone I can call for you?” the man asked me.
At the hospital, I was told then the extent of my damage. I had broken my spine, torn my abs in half, ripped my intestines and small bowel that needed to be stitched, my appendix was removed, and I broke my radius on my right arm. I was lucky to even be alive.
They fixed my insides but my spine remained untouched. I was instructed to stay on bed rest, not sit or stand, for eight weeks after being sent home.
The car after the accident.
I felt bad for my family and what they had to deal with when it came to taking care of me.
Jared was and is the best boyfriend anyone could ask for. We would talk for hours and if he wasn’t with me we were texting, emailing, or communicating in one form or another. He was the main person I shared every emotion I was feeling with. Almost everyday after working a full shift, he would drive up from San Diego just to see me. I couldn’t believe how much he loves me to drive two hours to see me, sometimes just to say hi to me for only an hour before heading back home. He showed me a level of care and affection I have never before known. He would do everything for me, not only there as a best friend but a lover and caregiver as well. Having someone prove a level of not only respect but loyalty was the only beauty I found in this entire ordeal.
Six hours later I was waking up. Jared was right there to greet me. You did great he whispered. A kiss and a few strokes of my hair and I was left to get my rest.
Jenny’s spinal fusion
As I was holding on to the nurse’s arm I slowly placed one foot at a time on the floor. As each toe touched ground a sense of victory came over me. I lifted myself up and within seconds was standing completely upright, grabbing on to my walker in front of me. Even in the medicated state I was in, it was a feeling I will never forget. So many emotions were going through me. I did it! Even though it was only for a few seconds that I stood, it was a turning point for me. The first sense of hope I felt since this whole thing happened. It was all uphill from here.
Jenny starts the long arduous healing process
Months went by; my friends and family never left my side. With each day I walked a few feet further. Everyday was an emotional struggle laced with soreness that would not leave, but I was alive and walking and most importantly, starting to get my independence back.
And now, 10 months after being told I might not ever walk again without assistance, I conquered my favorite hiking trail.”
Good job, Jenny!