Many people are born with adverse elements in their lives, however, it is often even more difficult to have been born without many problems in your life and then out of nowhere having brand new adverse elements appear. For someone not used to handing adverse issues, it is very easy to give up when they suddenly enter your life. But for Lauren Graham these unpleasant additions to her life have only made her try harder, and have made her beliefs even stronger.
Before June 5th, Lauren was a typical girl. She was a devout Christian, despite the many temptations in society today. She had only been home for a few days from a Christian missionary trip to India. She dedicated her time to those in need and her passion for education.
On June 5th, everything changed. After attending church with her family, Lauren was heading home with her brother. Her parents were shortly behind them in a separate car. Lauren and her brother’s car was directly hit and instantly totaled. While Lauren’s brother and the elderly woman driving the other car walked away with minor injuries, Lauren was injured much worse. She experienced extreme head trauma which caused her to have no memory of the accident. Many of the neurons in her brain were twisted and cut causing her to permanently lose part of her memory. With a crushed pelvis and severe head injuries, Lauren fell into a coma upon arrival to the hospital. After 17 days of being kept alive through wires and feeding tubes, Lauren finally awoke. She had to have a bolt put into her head for three long weeks to track the swelling in her brain to make sure she was getting better and not worse. For six weeks, she had to wear a metal device created to set her bone fractures throughout her body. She spent 60 days in the hospital amazing doctors and nurses by her speedy recovery. However, despite her progress, she was still unable to walk on her own and speaking was a challenge.
Along with stealing parts of her memory, independence and body, the accident has also stolen some of Lauren’s self-confidence. Due to the bolts being put into her head, her hair had to be cut extremely short. She struggles to enunciate and speak clearly, which due to reading out loud for speech therapy is slowly improving.
Prior to the accident, Lauren was a graphic design major. Both professors and students recognize how intelligent, humble, ambitious, respectful, passionate and devoted Lauren is. Despite the various hurdles, Lauren is not willing to give up. She has difficulty moving because although her brain communicates to her body to move, it occurs much more slowly than before the accident. Due to the accident, Lauren has gaps in her memory and brain lesions on the right frontal cortex that will make it impossible to access that side of the brain ever again.
In addition to all of the physical challenges that this accident has added to Lauren’s life, it has also created a significant financial burden. Her medical bills are over $1.6 million, with $600,000 still being owed. Due to the financial stress that this has caused her family, Lauren no longer attends formal rehab, but does not give up hope of recovery by going to the gym a minimum of three times a week to build up her arm and leg strength, as well as her endurance, all of which have significantly declined due to the accident.
While many individuals would give up on their previous dreams, now at 21 years old, Lauren has done the opposite of giving up to her new adverse consequences. While many would give up or dwell on the accident, Lauren is doing the opposite. She has no desire to be pitied, or pity herself. She wants to go back to being the same girl who helped others and loved school before the accident. She still states her strong belief in both God and miracles in the world. She is planning to go back to Palm Beach Atlantic University to study photography and graphic design, despite the added challenges she will now face. Rather than wishing the accident upon someone other than herself, Lauren is thankful that it happened to her. She believes that God has a plan for her and that despite the potential challenges along the way, there has to be a reason for it. Instead of giving in to the adverse consequences of the accident, Lauren is convinced more than ever that things happen for a reason and that she will overcome the accident and continue her missionary work, support of God and educational goals.