Today on the one-year anniversary of the car wreck that broke my pelvis in two places, my sacrum, and my right leg, I am happy to report that my body has healed!

I am able to walk, drive, garden, swim, and even go boogie boarding… everything that I could do before the accident. To me, this is nothing short of miracle, and I am grateful to God and to everyone who helped me on the road to recovery. The journey was not easy, for sure, but if you are suffering right now from similar injuries, I hope you will be encouraged by reading my story.

Day 1

Feb. 23, 2022 – On the morning of the accident, I was transported by ambulance to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, rather than the local hospital. The reason? HHMC has the area’s only Level II Trauma Center, and the paramedics at the scene suspected that I might have severe internal bleeding.

The ride to the hospital was extremely uncomfortable, as bumps and turns along the road caused sharp, agonizing pains.

Once there, I spent more than 12 hours in the ER because there were no rooms available upstairs. Much of the time I was mercifully asleep from the medication given me.

My husband, George, was eventually allowed to come back to the ER to be with me. My daughter, Julie, who is a registered nurse, was also allowed to relieve George and stay with me. My hours in the ER are pretty much a blur, but I remember at one point “playing” with the oxygen level on my monitor, noticing that if I breathed more deeply, I could make the oxygen level rise to 100%.

Around 3 a.m., a room became available at last. Julie accompanied the hospital staff as they rolled my gurney to my room. As they prepared to move me from the gurney to the bed, Julie told them to make it a quick transfer. As a medical-surgical nurse with ten years’ experience, she knew the transfer would be excruciating. It was quick, but I still screamed in pain. I don’t remember much of the night after that, but I know that they made me as comfortable as possible.

The staff encouraged me to use a PureWick™ device, fondly called a “banana”, which is an external catheter. Use of this device meant I was spared the discomfort of using a bedpan or of having to get up out of bed to urinate. What a blessing it was!

Day 2

Feb. 24, 2022 – That day I had several visitors. My pastor, Father Gilbert Medina of St. Peter Catholic Church came and administered the Sacrament of the Sick, anointing me and praying for my healing. My husband, my sister, and five of our daughters also came: Mary, who is a massage therapist and who managed to deliver a healing massage while I lay on my back; Julie, who returned after getting some sleep; Kelly, who was in nursing school at the time; Jacquie, who brought me yarn for crocheting so I would have something productive to do; and Maeve, who organized a food chain through GrubHub of family and friends who brought us suppers for two months!

The strange thing was that I didn’t remember for months afterwards much of what transpired that day. My family tells me that I was quite perky and talkative because I had so much pain medication in me, but I don’t remember that. When my memory of that day eventually returned, what I remembered most was their overwhelming love and concern.

Also on that day, the doctors gave me their diagnosis. “The good news,” the doctor began, “is that you don’t need surgery.” I was thrilled! “The bad news is,” he continued, “it’s going to hurt like hell.” He wasn’t kidding! The position of the breaks made it impossible to employ surgery to secure the bones, but I would have to move. In fact, movement was essential! So, I would simply have to put up with the pain that resulted from every movement. It wasn’t long before the hospital staff had me out of bed and using a walker to take care of toileting and move around the room.

Sometimes the pain wasn’t too bad, but at other times it was rough. A problem came up when my usual low blood pressure plummeted from a dose of morphine. It took some fancy footwork on the part of Erin, the charge nurse, to keep me both alive and comfortable. God bless Erin!

Day 5

Feb. 28, 2022 – After five days, my insurance company said it was time to leave the hospital. The social worker tried to find a suitable rehab center in the DeLand area with an opening, but there was none available. Because my daughters, Julie and Kelly, were in the medical field, the decision was made to allow me to go home under their care. Meanwhile, George had a hospital bed delivered to our home from a local medical supply, so that I would be able to rest as comfortably as possible.

The trip home was not by ambulance, but a medical delivery van. I had to sit up in a wheel chair that was secured to the floor during the ride. Once in our driveway, there was no way to get the wheelchair up the stairs and there was no ramp available. So, believe it or not, the driver carried me in the wheelchair up the stairs! It was a little frightening, but there was nothing else to be done… and thank God, we made it!

The First Month

Julie immediately set to work making sure her “patient” took her various meds on time. She bought this darling daisy pill box…actually three of them… to keep my morning, noon, and evening meds separated and scheduled.

She also got me used to using a bedside commode, as well as using a walker to get to the bathroom. My daughter, Kelly, who was then a nursing student, also helped with patient care. They really had their hands full because my husband had to have abdominal surgery the very next week! My heartfelt thanks for your love and care of both of us!

Since George and I were pretty much grounded, my parish family from St. Peter’s Catholic Church brought George and me Holy Communion after Morning Mass. What a blessing to have such devoted, holy friends!

My orthopedic medical care was transferred to Dr. Watts of Florida Orthopaedic Associates. At first, the hardest part of going to see Dr. Watts was in getting up on the x-ray table, but that got better with time.

The next change consisted of at-home occupation therapy and physical therapy. The physical therapists introduced home health equipment, such as a shower seat and a clamp for the shower cord. Meanwhile, the physical therapist, taught me how to go up and down the stairs using a walker, as well as how to properly use a cane when the time was right.

The Second Month

March 2022 – Some days I would get so discouraged! I wanted to make progress faster than my body could produce it. Thank goodness my husband kept encouraging me. He would say, “You’re making great progress. Just look back at where you were last week!” He was right, of course, and I needed to develop the virtue of patience.

And at the end of the month when it was time to send back the hospital bed, he made sure we were both able to find comfortable sleep positions by buying us a set of Ghost Beds®!

The Next Six Months

April 2022 – Eventually, I was ready to graduate from at-home therapy to more intensive physical therapy at an out-patient facility. Zach at Advent Health Sports Med and Rehab took me from walking with a cane to being able to walk with strength and balance. Zach also encouraged me to start driving again, even if only up and down the driveway.

Driving was a frightening proposition for me at that time. Even now, I find myself flinching when other cars get close. One day, however, I decided to go driving on the relatively vacant roads by the airport. That that got me over the hump, so that on July 13, 2022, we bought a new vehicle for me to drive–a Dodge Grand Caravan.

Chiropractic care from Dr. Bethany Raudenbush of Focus Forward Chiropractic kept my spine in alignment, and Dr. Steven D’Antonio of Whole Family Healthcare made sure I took the proper nutrients to rebuild my bones and joints. Massage therapy helped relieve tension during the healing process.

At the Eight-Month Mark

October 2022 – By this time, I could engage in many of the activities that I did before the accident, but not all. I still could not kneel to garden, and I often woke up during sleep from stiffness and achy discomfort. Seeing Derrick Brantley of Enbalance Body Work in Lake Mary, Florida, for neurofacial reset therapy netted the final victory. How wonderful it is to be able to garden once again, to walk 2 to 4 miles per day, and to get a good night’s sleep most nights!

One Year After the Accident

February 23, 2023 – Are there any remaining problems from the accident? Yes. My neck often hurts from injuries sustained in the wreck…whiplash, they called it. When I cough, knife pains grab my skull and shoot out my eyes. Pains like these from a single cough can last for minutes, while a nagging neckache from an awkward sleep position can last for hours or even days. In addition, sitting can become uncomfortable, too, when the healed “breaks” in my pelvis become swollen or irritated. At moments like these, I am grateful for skilled health practitioners, my husband’s encouragement, and Ibuprofen.


When this accident first happened, I wondered if my body would heal. After all, I am almost 70 years old, and I had been diagnosed for 20 years with osteoporosis. Would my broken bones and messed-up joints heal from the injuries sustained in this car wreck? I had my doubts.

Furthermore, I was upset with God for allowing this to happen to me. One day in the hospital, I fussed at Him through gritted teeth, “You didn’t have to do this to me!” What I heard back was, “Didn’t I?”

Another day when I was reaching up for the pull chain to a fan, I pulled a muscle in my chest. I had just gotten good at getting around with the walker, but this new injury made it difficult again. “I wanted to be independent!” I yelled at God in prayer. I heard back a gentle reply, “I wanted to draw you closer.”

In the end, Our Lord did draw me closer to Him during this healing journey. I learned not to be quite as independent as before and to respond better to the leading of Divine Providence. There were other blessings, too, that echoed throughout my family. Through it all, my spiritual director, Fr. Jeffry Moore, helped me to hang tight and learn ever more deeply that God is faithful and that Our Lord can be trusted to bring good out of the most distressing circumstances. If you call out to God, He will help you, too!

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