By Alyce Collins
THIS WOMAN was thrown over SEVENTY feet from her car in a horrifying collision, leaving her completely paralysed from the waist down and fighting for her life by an unknown hit and run lorry driver but she has vowed to one day walk down the aisle with the man of her dreams.
A terrifying car crash left Ally Poole (22) from Georgia, USA, with multiple internal injuries and a spinal cord injury which paralysed her from the waist down. In January 2015, Ally was driving in her car with her dog, Lilly, when she saw a lorry coming towards her, causing Ally to swerve to avoid a head on collision.
Ally was ejected from her car and thrown 75-feet into nearby fields. Although she can’t remember much after the crash, Ally recalls landing flat on her back when she landed on the ground, and not being able to move her body. After this, she remembers waking up in the hospital several days later, connected to a ventilator in the ICU.
Before long, doctors were forced to tell her that she would never walk again and she would be confined to a wheelchair permanently. At the time, Ally made it her goal to learn to walk, but now three years on she sees walking as a much smaller goal to reach compared to striving to live her life and inspiring others not to give up.
“I remember my first thought when I landed was Lilly and I tried to get up, but I couldn’t,” Ally said.
“My body wouldn’t move, I didn’t know why at the time but now I know that as soon as I hit the ground it had paralysed me instantly.
“I remember someone screaming ‘say something’ and all I could say was ‘help’. I remember him saying he had help on the way and I remember my eyes closing and I don’t remember anything after that.
“The next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU several days later, on a ventilator and I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t move – I couldn’t do anything.
“I was so confused, I remember trying to process how I got there and why I had tubes down my throat causing me to not be able to talk. I remember thinking to myself that I couldn’t feel my legs, but I never questioned it.
“It’s like I knew I was paralysed, like I had this sense of peace over me and I just knew I would find a way for everything to be okay.”
The horrifying crash left Ally with a C-2 hangman bone fracture in her neck, collapsed lungs, two gastric lacerations in her stomach, a ruptured spleen, internal bleeding throughout all her organs and a T-12 spinal cord injury. Her extensive injuries led to her needing six surgeries in her three weeks in hospital, before being moved to a rehabilitation facility, spreading across seven months.
Ally’s family and boyfriend at the time, Amos, were called telling them to get to the Grady Hospital in Atlanta where she was being taken. Her dog, Lilly, was found not long after, hiding in a nearby chicken house before she was returned to Ally’s family.
Ally now attends physiotherapy once a week as she hopes to walk down the aisle on her wedding day in October later this year. Her car has been modified with hand controls to enable Ally to live as independently as possible.
“I’ve had to learn to stay positive when everything around me is negative and learn to push through the hard days the same way I push through the good days,” added Ally.
“Another huge challenge I’ve had to face is everything that comes with the spinal cord injury. Most people think it’s just not being able to move or feel your legs, but it’s so much more than that. Your spinal cord controls every little thing your body does, so when it’s severed, and the nerves can’t work and communicate with your brain, your body still works but it’s involuntarily.
“It’s not having control over bowel or bladder movements, it’s pressure sores, it’s constant infections, it’s a weakened immune system and losing all muscle mass.
“You don’t realise how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. You have to keep going. You have to wake up every day and fight and never give up, because there’s always someone else who has it harder than you do.
“It’s up to you to make the best of it and keep living life to the fullest. My goal is to help and inspire other people from my recovery. In the beginning I was focused on walking again, but now I see that’s just a small goal and if I can help and inspire just one person going through the same thing to not give up, then I’ve accomplished my ultimate goal.
“My fiancé has always been very supportive from the very beginning. He never left my side throughout the hospital stay and has been through everything with me.
“His support means the world to me and it helped me in recovery in so many ways mentally, emotionally and physically.”
“It is my target to walk down the aisle because I’ve dreamed about walking down the aisle since I was a little girl.
“I think every girl always dreams about her wedding day and dreams about walking down the aisle on her wedding day, so it’s something that I’m determined to accomplish and to prove to other girls that their dreams can still come true even in my situation.”
Unfortunately, the driver of the lorry who caused her to swerve in her car fled the scene and their identity is still unknown.
To learn more about Ally’s recovery journey, visit @allypoolefit