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Tragedy changes your life, how you react to it determines your quality of life.

Building a new life after suffering a severe spinal cord injury.

In 2010 I had an ATV accident that resulted in fracturing C1,2,3 and burst C4. I was paralyzed from the neck down. The prognosis was that I'd likely be using a power chair with a sip and puff. I kept fighting and eventually learned to walk in spite of my injury. Taught myself to be lefthanded through drawing and painting. Over time I found my new path in life, creating works of art.

Don't be afraid to get out there!

Before the accident, I was into surfing, hiking, motorcycles, fishing, etc. I have found a group in my town that takes any disability any age surfing. Yes, I get to go surfing!

Last month I completed my first 3k. My goal was not to use my power chair, not stop, and finish around an hour. I finished in 58:33! I made it the entire distance.

Our greatest barriers are often within our own minds.

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I had an atv accident,October 16th 2010. I'm a c-4 incomplete quadriplegic. I was told that I'd never walk again but I refused to accept that. Through the pain and frustration I have continued to regain function.I can walk,with a severe limp, short distances.(Working up to be able to walk a 5K) My right arm /hand have very limited function and having been right handed this created a problem. I have taught myself dexterity and fine motor control through drawing and painting. I have found art to be an incredible release and have been fortunate enough to find people that like my work so much they are willing to pay for it! The crazy part is that due to my injury I have heightened sensation on my right side with very limited motor function and my left side has what I would call 60-70%motor function yet I am almost completely numb. I cannot feel the pen or brush in my hand so I have to keep eye contact with my hand and focus on not dropping it. Prior to my accident I was active, surfing,hiking,dirt biking, etc. Though I don't swim well I have returned to the ocean and this past weekend I stood up on a surfboard again (with considerable assistance). It was amazing! At the 5 year anniversary of the accident I created a video to thank everyone that had helped me along the way. Here's the link if you're interested. https://youtu.be/F1kAxVTFHMY It's important to remember that one never truly knows the limits of their capabilities unless they are actively seeking them out!

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RJ Higgins

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Tragedy changes your life, how you react to it determines your quality of life.

Tragedy changes your life, how you react to it determines your quality of life.