Positive from negative
Three and a half years ago, my life took a complete change in direction. It will never be what I expected, or hoped, it would be.
On June 12, 2015, I was struck by a car in Hudson while I was jogging. The car was going over 100 km/h on a residential road where the speed limit is usually 40 km/h. I suffered life threatening injuries that consisted of a cracked skull, traumatic brain injury, fractured spine, internal bleeding, fractured ribs, hip and pelvis completely destroyed on my right side, ligament transplant, burns due to electricity wires, nerve damage and loss of feeling in one of my thighs. I've had a total of 19 operations and more to come in the future. I wasn't supposed to make it. I was put into an induced coma so the swelling and pain could diminish. I consider myself lucky in my unlucky ways.
My dreams of becoming a police officer have now been thrown away. The struggles I face every day are unimaginable for anyone my age. This whole nightmare happened when I was 20 years old - my early adulthood was taken away from me. There's a big possibility that I will never be able to one day carry my own child. Nothing can repair everything I've been through, physically and emotionally. I have a life sentence of pain, suffering, and indelible scars across my body.
Despite everything that has happened, I've decided to make something positive out of my situation. I have been doing guest speaking engagements in schools talking about my journey and the consequences impaired driving can have on someone's life as it has had on mine.
On January 9, 2019, the driver of the car that struck me, Jordan Xavier Taylor, finally appeared in court for his pre-sentencing hearing. After hearing his apology, I made the request in court that he would accompany me for my guest speaking engagements after serving his sentence. I believe that hearing both sides of the story will help further raise awareness of this issue because not only are there many victims suffering the consequences of impaired motorists driving while under the influence, but the person who is responsible for this also has to live with what they have done. And that will stay with him forever.
This idea came to mind when Jordan took responsibility for his actions on June 19, 2018.
In my guest speaking role, the students always hear my side of the story and it has a major impact on them. If Jordan were to join me, I believe it would have an even greater impact as not only have I been forever changed but Jordan must now live with the guilt of knowing he destroyed so much of my life.
If working with the guy who did this to me will save lives then I’m all for it. An eight month prison sentence for his actions is not enough. No sentence will equal what I'll be dealing with in the future.
But regardless of the sentence he gets, it is now in the judge’s hands.
We can't change the past but I am now ready to move forward and make a positive change for the future.