Holly Church is only 22-years-old, but she’s learning to walk again, for the second time.
Her story began 3 years ago, just after her 19th birthday, when she suffered a bad fall during a skiing trip in Michigan.
“I hit a chunk of ice and it sort of launched me in the air,” said Holly. “And…when I landed, I must have snapped my neck back. And so that caused a contusion and compression in my C5 spinal cord.”
Holly’s dad, Paul, got a phone call that afternoon that every parent fears receiving.
“I got a call in the afternoon just saying, kind of real bluntly, that she’d been in an accident and was being airlifted to a trauma center,” said Paul. “You don’t even know how to react when you hear that.”
After spending 5 days in the ICU and 10 more days in the hospital — Holly was transferred to Van Mater Rehabilitation Hospital in Rockford, to undergo physical therapy.
“It was a process,” said Holly. “I was at Van Mater for like two months. And when I left there I was able to stand, which was a big accomplishment from when I came in, and couldn’t even move my head.”
A year and half after the disastrous accident — Holly was able to walk again. And she was doing well — until this past Monday.
“At around 1:15 in the morning, we got the call from the hospital saying, ‘Is Holly Church your daughter? She’s been in a car accident’,” said Paul.
A drunk driver had hit Holly’s car – sending her spinning. And as she tried to get out, she collapsed, becoming paralyzed for the second time.
“It kind of knocked me back down into 3 years ago,” said Holly.
But even with all that she has been through – Paul says Holly has remained positive and hopeful.
“You can’t just get stuck in that moment. Because if you stay stuck there, and question, ‘Why me? Why me?’, then you’re never gonna want to get up and try to do things,” said Holly.
And when asked about learning to walk again, Holly had this to say:
“I did it last time so there’s no reason I can’t do it again.”