WOW! Squashed By A Truck

Stories about people who overcome personal adversity are among my favorites. The latest such story that I read is Gratitude in Motion, by Colleen Kelly Alexander. As many biographies do the author begins describing her life as a young person. She describes her first love, and her faith in God. Her parents were very strict Baptist and conveyed their own faith beliefs to her. She does little to describe her athletic prowess but does mention that her father taught her to love  bicycles because he ran a bike shop.

The biggest  problem she met as a teen was having to give up her first love because his faith was not the same as hers. This trauma sent her into a personal dilemma and she wound up wondering what to do with her life. She did eventually find a passion in counseling troubled teens. She learned that she was good at what she did, and was able to write grant proposals to get funding for her work. This usually gave her a salary too, albeit a small one.

She was living in Connecticut working at a counseling service, and rode her bicycle to work. One Saturday, she went in to catch up and on her way home she encounters a large truck at an intersection. The truck ran a stop sign and ran over her. Both the front wheel and the rear wheels crossed over her abdomen. She remembers looking into the driver’s eyes as he proceeded to run her down. The truck squished her insides out of her abdomen, broke many bones and stripped muscles from her pelvis, gluteus and thighs. That is when this story really gets going.

The fact that Colleen survived is one thing, but the process she went through to survive is another. She describes her injuries in vivid detail, and it is demoralizing. I felt myself wincing throughout.

I love this kind of story because it relates to my experience with polio at age fifteen. It is not fun laying in a bed with IV’s and machines all around in a stupor wondering what the hell happened here. Colleen is a trooper and has courage beyond a normal human being. I won’t go into any details of her injuries except to say it wasn’t pretty. What is important is that she recovered and channelled her frustration and pain into positive healing. Not only did she recover, but she has gone on to become a revered motivational speaker, and an advocate for the Red Cross blood drive. They used seventy-eight pints of blood during her emergency surgery and many units of plasma. She believes the blood to be one of the many things that helped save her life. She is also back to running, swimming, walking, and bicycling. to the extent that she competes in Iron Man competitions.

Read this story, it will fill you with positive energy, and a wish to help humanity.

Five stars.

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