“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
― Helen Keller
I was aggravated at the amount of my time that was tied up in travel to attend a meeting at our company’s corporate office in North Carolina. Little did I know how much the impact of that meeting would have on my life.
It didn’t take long to put my aggravation aside after spending only a brief amount of time with Courtney Rogers. It was the first time I had seen her since her accident that happened on a Saturday evening, March 26.
You see, Courtney’s right arm was crushed when the ATV she was riding with friends took a turn too fast and flipped, pinning her underneath. The 31-year-old recalls the frantic scene: girlfriends screaming, EMTs shouting instructions.
But in the midst of all that chaos, something miraculous was happening.
“I don’t consider myself to be very religious. I don’t attend church regularly, but I am a believer. I believe God is the reason I am here,” she said. “As I lay there bleeding to death, aware of the mayhem around me, I heard a voice that said, ‘Be still, be still.’”
That brought a great sense of calm to her.
The amputation was done the next day in order to save her life. She also ended up with 11 staples in her head. She lost a lot of blood, but no transfusion was necessary. Initially, the EMTs did not think they could save her life.
Amazingly, Courtney was released from the hospital on March 30 — only four days later!
She credits the great outpouring of love and support for her continued recovery. Friends organized meals. Flowers were continually getting delivered to her door.
“I have the best family and friends,” she said.
“I have a passion for cooking and thought I would not be able to ever prepare a meal again. My boyfriend, Jason, and I have some of our best talks during that time,” she said.
She recalls one really bad day when Jason had to return to work. She spent a lot of that day in tears. But after that day, she determined she was not going to go back into that funk. She decided being thankful for what she has is more important than focusing on what she no longer has.
“I don’t know why, but I remember when I used to ask why,” she said. “Mom and Dad would often answer, ‘Just because.’ I know there is a greater purpose.”
Courtney is faced with a lot of challenges. She had approval from the insurance company to go through the procedures to be fitted for a prosthetic arm. When she submitted for approval to get the arm the prosthetic clinic recommended, it was denied. According to the insurance company, it exceeds her basic needs. Unbelievable!
She got hit with a bill for $37,000 that the insurance company refuses to pay. The doctors that performed surgery on her arm were in the network, but the facility where the surgery and care was given was not. Unbelievable!
Besides the administrative position she holds in our company, Courtney also bartends, so she is considering other alternatives for income.
“It’s the craziest little things that I can’t do. I can’t tie shoes or ties on clothing. Fastening pants. Opening bottles of water. I used to type 70 wpm. Now I can barely type. I can’t put my hair in a ponytail,” she said.
How does she get through it?
“I’ve always been grateful and optimistic, but this has intensified my perspective,” Courtney said. “When life has sent you a curve ball, it could have been curvier.”
What does she want others to know?
“I know it sounds cliché, but don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff. I want to help someone else. I want to help change someone else’s life,” she said.
You already have, Courtney. You changed mine.