• James Armstrong

Thankful for regained mobility and the pleasure of walking the dog


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Courage, determination, and a positive attitude are the hallmarks of Tina Adams’ road to recovery.

Walking the dog, strolling through a shopping mall, and having the ability to climb stairs are part of Tina Adams’ life again. She is now, by her own admission, a woman constantly in motion.

Adams’ newly acquired mobility is the result of a hip replacement operation that took place December 9, 2016 after her life was irrevocably changed on June 12, 2015, when she was struck by a car operated by an inebriated driver. The resulting near-fatal injuries left the then 21-year-old with serious mobility challenges and neurological damage. Before the hip replacement, she relied upon a combination of crutches and a wheelchair for getting around. “It’s so amazing to be able to go shopping without having to use crutches,” said Adams. Walking Bear, her constant companion, a male Golden Labrador Retriever, is an undisputed rediscovered pleasure.

Unfortunately, the new hip has caused some problems, too. “I’ve had numbness in the back of my leg,” she said. The loss of sensation means that the hip will have to be re-installed within the next few months.

Long road

It has been a long road to recovery since June 2015 for Adams. There have been setbacks. Holes in her bones caused by infection had to be alleviated with bone marrow transplants. Damaged ligaments had to be replaced. Along with the right hip re-installation, she has two more surgeries scheduled for her left leg that currently requires a brace.

“I won’t be able to run again,” said Adams. High impact activity is out of the question for the young woman, now 22 years old. “I don’t know if you know this, but people can only have two, maybe three hip replacements in a lifetime,” she said. On the advice of her surgeon, she plans to make her first one last as long as possible.

When asked how she deals with the stress and difficulty of her life, Adams replied that she learned early on in her recovery to stay focused. “I discovered that if I set a goal of accomplishing one thing in my day, it made me happy,” she said, adding, “It might be something very simple, like making a phone call but as long as I got it done, I was happy.” Attending physiotherapy three times per week is also a source of enjoyment. “I enjoy going because I can see improvement each time,” she said.

The 2015 accident meant that Adams’ dream of graduating from the Police Technology program at John Abbott College was put on hold. She is considering taking courses in September, 2017, but that depends upon the upcoming hip operation. Although she won’t be graduating this year, she does plan to attend the upcoming graduation dinner with her Police Technology classmates. She will also be the guest speaker at the college for a presentation on the dangers of drinking and driving Thursday, March 23.

The case is due back in court in early April.

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