Meredith, 31, is a self-described “burn the candle at both ends” kind of person. She had a new job creating websites, her own jewelry line, worked at an art gallery, and was a freelance graphic designer.
Last 4th of July, she invited friends over to celebrate. Meredith was in her pool, and the next thing she remembers is waking up face down in the water, unable to move her arms or legs. “I don’t know what happened…I don’t remember hitting my head.” Her friends pulled her from the pool, administering CPR until the ambulance arrived. Meredith was paralyzed from the chest down, and emergency surgery confirmed she had a crushed C5 vertebra and fractured C6 vertebra. “I ruined my whole life by getting in a pool. No one could ever be prepared for this.”
When she arrived at Craig Hospital, Meredith could only wiggle a thumb. “I was in bad shape.” By the end of her stay, she could to stand up without help. “That was the most tangibly wonderful moment I could ask for.” Craig’s Project EQL (Equipment for Quality of Life) Fund — supported by the Daniels Fund — ensures all inpatients have access to vital adaptive equipment, like the manual wheelchair Meredith received. “My feeling of independence from that chair was life-changing…and a trophy of hope.”