Australian Janine shepherd was preparing for the Olympics in 88, when a car accident six months in the hospital put an end to her sports career and forced to find a new meaning in life.
Janine. Photo: ladieslovetaildraggers.com
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The Australian Janine shepherd was a brilliant future ahead. In 10 years she won several national Championships in athletics, and then as he practiced skiing.
In 1986, 24-year-old Janine had to start preparing for the Winter Olympic games in calgary. On the eve of departure to Canada, she decided to go on a bike ride with friends. It was a beautiful day – the sun was shining, there were beautiful landscapes, but then everything went black. Janine woke up in the hospital.
I was told to rethink his life
“The last thing I remember is coming down the hill with friends, and then Wake up in the hospital and they tell me that I’m paralyzed,” – said later Janine in an interview.
On the mountain road, the girl ran the car. Janine had a fracture of the neck and spine in six places. She also had fractures of the clavicle, right arm and five ribs. In addition, damaged internal organs and she lost a lot of blood.
“We often define ourselves through the things around us – our work, our relationships, the roles we play in life. When we lose these things, we lose ourselves and what we believe is the real test. When we are experiencing such great loss in life, it is very easy to fall into despair. It happened when I came back from the hospital. My parents were told to prepare for the worst,” says Janine. The girl spent 10 days in intensive care and another six months in the spinal ward.
“I left the hospital after 6 months in a wheelchair, and nobody knew what the future awaits me. I didn’t feel anything from the waist down. The doctors told me that I had to rethink my life.”
It was clear that career came to an end. Janine could not walk, besides any physical activity caused pain. The girl who since early childhood was an athlete and developed his body, had to find a new purpose in life.
The answer came unexpectedly. The girl saw the plane in the sky and said to herself: “I can’t walk, but maybe I can fly?”
When Janine first came on Board, her whole body was still in a cast.
“I’m sure my flight instructor thought I was insane and never coming back, but as soon as I felt the freedom and joy of flight, I thought, “I can do it””. During the year after the first flight, Janine received a pilot’s license.
The success in piloting pushed Janine back to learn to walk. “It was a gradual process, and I started with pushing the stroller in front of him, then went around the house holding onto furniture. At first I was supported by two men, then one. It was a very slow progress. In the end, I was able to go on their own,” says Janine about yourself.
I feel that the accident was a gift to me
Getting a pilot’s license and trying to get back on their feet helped the girl not only physically but also mentally. The only way she could cope with despair and depression.
“I just interrupted a pattern of depression, outlining progress in all directions, regardless of how gradual it was on different days. It helped me to change the focus of my life,” explains Janine.
The injury opened up a young athlete in the new world around them. Janine childhood was surrounded by the athletes, she hardly knew the world on the ski slopes. In the hospital she met people who I never could have crossed paths before.
“Even though we came there from different walks of life, we are faced with a similar problem: how to accept what happened, and to live after recovery. It is equally important that we have common hopes and dreams about a “normal” life, when we left the spinal ward of the hospital,” says Janine.
Own history encouraged her to help others and inspire others. Her memoir, “Never tell me Never” (“Never Tell Me Never”) became a bestseller in Australia. She carried the Olympic torch at the Paralympic games in Sydney in 2000 and represents the organization Australasian Spinal Research Trust, which helps people with back injuries.
Janine attracted a lot of attention to the problems of people with spinal injuries. “It can happen to anyone. It’s really just a matter of seconds, she says. Is a very devastating injury, and the ability to walk – only a very small part of it. It takes a lot of not only physical but also emotional strength of the person and his entire family.”
30 years after the accident, Janine has no regrets that went for a walk, broke her career. “I feel that the accident was a gift to me. If I didn’t overcome those problems, I would not be where I am today. Our real strength has nothing to do with physical strength of our body. Everyone has an innate ability to challenge and overcome everything that we face in life.”
According to the materials DisabilityHorizons, News.com.au, CNN