This is a story about one of our own alumni who has overcome many obstacles in her life. Her name is Katie Breland and she is our Alumni Spotlight 2012! She touched our hearts with her perseverance, dedication to make a difference, and strength to keep moving forward. Her story is inspiring and we could all learn from her experiences.
Written by Katie Breland:
You often wonder where you will be years down the road, when college is over, careers begin, and families are started. Will you be successful? Will you be happy? What will become of your identity? Sometimes, life places before us a path that we never could have imagined. And though it may be hard, we are to walk it. Because that’s what we've been taught. Its part of "growing up".
After my high school graduation, I was set on the fact that I would continue on to play college basketball. I knew I wanted to be a Physical Therapist and go to Southeastern Louisiana University. It was the second day of college that I called my mom to come get me. I thought I knew what I wanted but my heart told me different. It was then, I decided PRCC would become my home. I applied and was accepted to the Physical Therapist Asst. program. This began a new chapter of my life. I made many life long memories, friends, and was given a stable, rewarding career.
It was 3 and a half years after I graduated that yet another new chapter was written for me. On October 13, 2011, I was in a terrible accident. I was hit broadside and then ejected from my car. The car then landed on top of me and it was there that I was trapped for 33 minutes. The engine was burning my back, my body was folded in half, and I knew that I couldn't feel my legs. A million things raced through my mind. I knew, that even though the road ahead of me was going to be full of heartbreak, valleys, hard work, and change, that I had to make a choice right then; I could take in my last breath, give up, and let go, or I could fight, with every ounce of my being. I chose to fight. I chose to believe.
The next several months was the toughest I have ever lived. There were tons of surgeries, therapy, skin grafts, and adjustments. My mind was my biggest battle. I looked back at all the patients I had rehabed being a pta and now here I was on the other side. I wondered every second if I would one day walk again, if i would be able to run in another race, shoot another basketball. I wondered if I would have kids, start a family, and live a normal life. I had to understand though, that all I could do was my part. And my part was to give my everything to my recovery. I knew that there would be days where things seemed impossible, but I knew that my trust in God was strong, and my community, friends and family were behind me 100 %.
It’s now been 10 months since my accident. I have faced a lot of things that I never would have imagined I would face. I’ve learned to appreciate the small things in life, to count my blessings before complaining about the small things, and to live every single minute to its fullest. We never know from day to day what may happen, or whose life we may be affecting along the way. People are watching us to see the stands we may make. It’s your decision, your choice to make the right ones. Make this short time we have here worth its while. Leave a legacy that people will stand on. I still believe that one day, I will walk again. I just hope that my story will touch other people’s lives in a positive way that inspires them to keep believing in themselves.
Recently friends and family of Katie held the Katie’s Kause 2nd Annual 5k Run to help support Katie and her costs that will occur when she goes to Michigan to work with a well known trainer who has experience dealing with spinal cord injuries. If you would like to help out “Katie’s Kause”, contact Candace Harper at the PRCC Development Foundation at 601-403-1193.