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Caring For My Paralyzed Son: A New Perspective on Life

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
08/05/16  9:11 AM PST
paralyzed son

Four years ago, I won the first place prize to become a caregiver. Little did I know that I would win this prize, but after being nominated for and winning this award, I have never taken my trophy off of the shelf.  An unfortunate car accident led me down this road. Because two men decided to chase after one another on the road, my son became paralyzed from the neck down.

A life-changing event at its best gave me a different perspective on life.

  1. Do not take anything for granted. Nothing is promised. Live each day as if it were your last.
  2. Don’t worry about what people say/think. People stare at my son all the time because he “looks different.”  He doesn’t even notice it. I figured if he isn’t bothered by it then why should I be.
  3. Smile for no reason. Children tend to be happier than adults because life has not happened to them. My son was injured at such a young age that he doesn’t even remember walking. Being in a wheelchair is the only life that he knows. Seeing and/or thinking about my son brings a smile to my face because that’s how I see him.
  4. Adaptation. A tragedy requires one to adapt to a new situation. If I can adapt to my son’s new lifestyle, I can adapt to anything. Not only did this incident give me a different perspective, it helped me find and accept me. My son helped me learn to instead of complaining or crying about your struggle, embrace and celebrate it. One can learn more from a child than he or she may think.

The reward was not only giving me a different perspective for a better lifestyle, but also having someone solely depend on you and knowing that you have aided in their evolution and progression of their overall life.

Special thanks to Candice M. for sharing these valuable life lessons as your son’s caregiver.

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