by Chelsea Alfieri
Ms. Alfieri is a young woman with a passion for writing, who will now be contributing articles in The Lyons Recorder.
January 16, 2008, a day that changed me, all that I knew, and opened my eyes for the rest of my life. I was eighteen, I had just graduated from Lyons High School, and I was on top of the world.
My friends Karen Lover, Justin Lover, Cole Brandt, and I were on our way to go watch the professional bull riding at The National Western Stock show in Denver. Little did we know that the ride there would end early, with a helicopter ride to save my life.
It was 5:15, we were leaving Boulder Valley Ranch where the Lovers lived, we were running late, and I hadn’t even had a chance to put my cowgirl boots on. Then it happened; an older male in an F-350 ran the stop sign at the intersection of Broadway and Highway 36 (where they have since put the new light in). We T-Boned him at fifty-five miles per hour, and I was ejected from the back seat behind the driver, into the windshield. I was not wearing a seatbelt, which anyone will tell you is out of character for me. So this worsened my wounds.
When I finally woke up, I was told the painful story. I was flown into St. Anthony Central hospital by Flight for Life. When I got there the emergency room staff took one look at my condition and said, “She’s too gone; there is nothing we can do.” It was then that the two most amazing doctors in the world came in and said, “No, we are going to save her.” For seven painful and scary hours, Dr. John Hudson and Dr. Fred Ceale worked to save my life.
Now with facial reconstructive surgery, four brain surgeries, a stroke, seizures, a deadly allergic reaction, and numerous non-related health issues, here I am, more alive than I have ever been. People will tell you that I am the bravest person they know, and now I really do believe it. Even though this accident has been a big part of my life for the last three years, it is not who I am.
I am Chelsea Alfieri. I am twenty one years old and currently living with my mother. I plan on going to school in Denver in January to pursue a career in Ultrasound Science. I love to write about anything and everything there is to write about, especially if there is an audience. I have always loved to be the center of attention. Besides writing, I have many other different hobbies.
I love to dance, watch movies, bowl, swim, draw, be with my family, be with my friends, and especially try new things. If my accident taught me anything, it is that you should never live the same day twice. I have tried to live this way ever since. I value life and people so much more, and surround myself with people who will better my life, not drag me down. I am a free spirit, who loves to joke around and laugh a lot. Laughter really is the best medicine.
This accident has made me a more dedicated person as well. When it comes to my future, I have it all planned out. Once January rolls around, I am packing up my truck and hitting the road for school, a job, and new adventures. By then this accident will be a faint memory. All you can do is look at what has happened to you and know that you can’t change it, but how has it changed you? I laugh a lot, I care about my family and friends more, and one thing I do more than I used to, is tell people how much I love them everyday. That’s who I am now. The accident was a blessing in disguise.