Listen to seven other powerful stories of recovery after injury.
Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd was Olympics-bound in 1986, with many thinking that she was a strong contender to earn Australia’s first-ever medal at the winter games. But everything changed on a training bike ride through the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Shepherd was hit by a truck, and broke both her back and neck.
Doctors did not expect Shepherd to survive. And when she made it through surgery she received some jarring words.
As Shepherd recalls in today’s talk, filmed at TEDxKC, “The doctor came over to me and said, ‘Janine, the operation was a success … but the damage is permanent. They’re central nervous system nerves. There is no cure. You’re what we call a partial paraplegic and you will have all the injuries that go along with that. You’ll have no feeling from the waist down. At most, you might get 10 to 20% return.’”
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