On June 1st, 1991 Stacy’s life changed in a split second. As a junior in college, she hit her head on the bottom of a swimming pool and was paralyzed from the neck down. But she was determined that nothing would paralyze her spirit. Stacy’s determination, courage, and faith helped her not only to survive, but to thrive.
She graduated from college, became a professional speaker, and wheelchair athlete. Stacy waterski’s, snowski’s, and has traveled to Greece and Vietnam. Her personal stories and principles of attitude, courage, perseverance, and faith have made an impact in audiences worldwide.
In her own words:
At a pool party in college, I broke my neck in a diving accident and was paralyzed from the neck down. In the next 24 hours, my parents were told I would never walk again. I just wanted to move my hands.
I played piano and guitar, and had twirled baton competitively. Now, the only things I had left to hold on to were my friends, my family, and my faith.
In the Bible God says that once we trust Him He will never leave. Even though I lay there in despair, I knew there was hope because God loved me and still had a purpose for my life. In the dark hospital room, I determined to try my best with God’s help to walk again, and serve Him someday with my life.
I worked hard, and progress came in small victories: the wiggle of a toe, the tiny move of my finger. I was learning the tough reality that God’s promises are the only things that would never disappoint me. You never think these things will happen to you. I was more mortal than I thought.
Four months later, I walked out of rehab with arm crutches! I use them now for home and short distances. I enrolled in college, and with my mom’s help, started finishing my college education.
At first, it was hard to accept myself in a wheelchair. I sensed the stares of students as I pushed myself down the hall. I felt as if people looked at me as different or less of a person. I gained value, however, in remembering that I was made in the image of God. I didn’t need to be perfect to be acceptable; I just needed to be me.
After a while, I started feeling like one of them. Two years later, I graduated from college, and got a van with hand controls and wheelchair adaptation. Freedom!
Today, I share my story to inspire others to give life their all. I also compete in wheelchair track and field, and have completed 13 marathons! Even though life can be difficult, God works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He gives joy, peace, and strength in adversity.
In heaven, I know I will walk again. The Bible says that God will wipe away every tear, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the lame will leap for joy. As long as life may seem at times, it is very short compared to eternity, where forever I will dance and praise the God who loves us so much. In light of eternity, I can handle the inconveniences of this life, looking ahead to the day they will be gone forever.
God has seen me through to lead a victorious life when years ago it seemed full of despair. I can honestly say I’d rather spend my life in a wheelchair and know God personally, than be a million-dollar professional athlete and spend an eternity apart from God.