Disability

I love the water. I love the ocean. I moved here to be near the ocean and so for it to be not my reality anymore, it's been really difficult to accept. Two years ago I woke up and I couldn't hear anything anymore. Complete silence. I felt like the hearing world had completely left me. To lose hearing music, birds, not hear water. I knew I needed to make a choice and for me I wanted to stay in the hearing world. There are many people out there who can't afford a cochlear implant or they don't have insurance and so they are left with no choices and I couldn't imagine giving that up. I wasn't prepared to be paying for a cochlear implant. I wasn't prepared to pay for a surgery. I wasn't prepared to pay for all of the things, the technology I need to go with this.

You're never prepared to get injured. You're fine one day and then the next day you've got to relearn how to put your pants on or how to drive down the road, how to walk. You know, you can still do those things, but you just have to learn to do them a different way. I was 21 when I was involved in a car wreck and uh, I had multiple injuries and the biggest of all of them being, I lost my right leg above the knee. I just kinda became the type person when I had someone tell me that I couldn't do something, it just kinda made me want to do it more. I used to be scared of falling. Now though, I think I've learned if I fall I fall.

Did you feel like that you were prepared for something like this? I mean, I wasn't prepared at all.

SUPER: Sometimes the push we need comes from people we've never met.

You feel like you're trying to prepare for certain things in life, especially as you get older, but you don't expect something life changing when you're so young.

SUPER: Jennifer & Ben

Thinking back, like when you used to be in the water all the time, how did being in the water make you feel?

Being able to ride the waves and going underneath and just being able to swim. It's one of those things that just, I loved it, but I can't actually be in the water. Well, I can be, but if I take off my implant then I'm completely deaf. I just don't want to do it without being able to hear. One of these days, I'm going to have to do it. So I mean.

Well, you’re here today.

I want to be able to tell people that this is not the end. It's just a different path.

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