Painful Reality

It was too hard for my friends to lift my dead weight all the way up to the dock, so they called 911 as I floated on my back. Don't worry, I kept telling myself, I'm just in shock. Ten minutes later, two paramedics arrived. "Am I going to be okay?" I asked as they put me in the ambulance. "We don't know," they said.

When I woke up in the hospital the next day, my head and neck were throbbing, and my parents were standing by my bed. "What happened?" I asked weakly. "You hurt your spinal cord," my mom explained. "They think you hit a mound of mud." I slowly tried to move, but everything, except for my hands and forearms, stayed still. This can't be real, I thought to myself. It's too bizarre—it didn't even hurt when I hit my head!

I quickly fell back asleep, and when I woke up a few hours later, still unable to move, I started to wonder, Am I ever going to move again?! I saw my parents by the door, and had to ask. "Dad, am I going to be able to walk?" His eyes filled with tears. "They don't think so," he said. "But is there a chance?" I asked. "Yes, but it's slim," he said, trying not to sound too hopeful. But that slight chance was all I latched on to: Of course I'd walk again. For me, there wasn't any other option.

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