Sure, we all have struggles; things we suffer through, some our own fault, some maybe not. Humanity has never endured without the haphazard manner in which life doles out its ample supply of sorrow and tragedy. While we all admire strength and resilience, we must give credit to the immense difficulties from where those things are derived. There’s certainly no glory in a painless victory, and no recognition for those who don’t battle. Sometimes we cope well, other times we crumble in defeat beneath the various buckets of turds that life tends to dump on us, but eventually, we manage to get back up. For Liz Mitchell, getting back up was more than just a euphemism for overcoming a misfortune.
The 32 year old woman from Waco, TX took a 16 foot free fall off her balcony and landed head first into a medically induced coma. That’s the thing about life, it’s a chaotic jumble of moments that doesn’t really care whether it makes sense or not. Liz Mitchell was playing with her dog, and the next thing she knew she was laying in a hospital bed, paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors said she would likely never walk again. Her boyfriend, Bryan, was at her bedside when she awoke, and gave news of her burden by explaining to her, “One day, we’ll move to Waco, we’ll get married, and we will have a beautiful life. And it does not matter if you are in a wheelchair.” Bryan continued to stay beside her, encouraging every step of recovery, and one day he asked Liz to wiggle her toes, and contrary to all the odds stacked against her ability, she did. The couple were overwhelmed with the excitement of this breakthrough, and before too long, Liz was knocking down every hurdle life put in her way. Today, with some assistance, she is able to walk.
For a woman deemed a quadriplegic, Liz had already overcame more than anyone expected, but she wasn’t done just yet! After walking down the aisle with Bryan, the pair surprised everyone (including themselves) when they discovered they were expecting a baby. Of course, doctors had to chime in with more gloomy predictions, saying she would probably not feel any of the movements most pregnant women do as their babies flutter about in the womb. Oh, but what does Liz Mitchell say? Well, despite her description of her body feeling “asleep” and being generally unresponsive to pain or temperature below the neck, Liz says that she has in fact felt the baby kick! Perhaps the medical staff handling Mrs. Mitchell need to just keep their statistical speculations to themselves, because it seems this lucky mama is doing just fine being the boss of her own body.
So, next time you find yourself choking on a hefty portion of life’s just desserts, try putting less effort into swallowing and focus more on giving your life the Heimlich maneuver, or the Liz Mitchell maneuver, as I like to call it now.