Kiara’s Story

On August 1, 2010, an ex-boyfriend and I got into a heated argument in Chicago. Later, about 10 minutes of arguing, I decided to leave. I had no money or way to get home but I wanted to leave before things escalated.

While standing in the kitchen facing him, he stood up, pulled his gun out, and shot me in the neck. I immediately fell back onto the floor, becoming instantly paralyzed from the waist down. I ended up with a trach in my neck, a spit fistula bag on my neck (can only drink into), my esophagus cut from my stomach, a g-tube, and I lost over 50 pounds. But months and almost a year later, I was able to eat and drink again, talk without my trach, I gained all of my weight back plus more, learned the basics of living with an SCI, and I was finally able to go home.
Over the last 7 to 8 years, I have been actively doing outpatient physical therapy to be more independent and learn how to walk with KAFO braces and a walker. It has been tough but I never gave up and will never give up. I continue to make progress in almost every session and I am determined to reach my goal of walking with arm crutches or a walker that rolls with the seat.

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