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Photographer: Margaret Jacobsen

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places”. Ernest Hemingway The world broke me on December 18, 2006. It was cold, and I was  lying in the snow unable to move my legs and fully aware of the fact  that I had just been paralyzed.

My husband and I had finished our medical residencies in Boston and were driving across the country back to the west coast. We stopped in Montana and I took my last walk a few feet up a kiddie sledding hill. I took off and the sled went over a bump of snow and when it landed my back hit the sled in the most implausible way. My T12 vertebrae was crushed. I was literally broken. The freshly trained doctor was now the patient. I have learned that living with a spinal cord injury has not made me less able. In order to survive and face the challenges of spinal cord injury, I had to find unimagined strength I did not know I possessed.

I was broken, but I am now so much stronger in more than just the broken places.