It was weeks before my wedding in 2010, and my four bridesmaids threw me the best bachelorette party I could ever dream of filled with dancing, dinner and fun.To cap off the perfect night, we decided to take a moonlight swim.We responsibly had a designated driver, and we were all totally coherent.
It was our way of harkening back to those days when we were carefree and younger. It also goes to show that people don't realize how easy it is to get a spinal cord injury.
These types of tragic accidents happen every day, and it doesn't take a wild night of getting obliterated for it to happen.
"I could never forgive her." "She's a bad friend." "Even if it was innocent, she is the cause of any hardship you now have."People painted us with broad brushes.
Whereas I was the sweet, wonderful example of the human spirit, she embodied the childish idiot who pushed me. Since she pushed me in the pool, she's the villain.
And my dear friend who had only innocent intentions is not just the girl who pushed me, but a friend who will likely carry some level of guilt with her for the rest of her life.
I was asked by numerous media outlets who the girl was who pushed me and led to my paralysis.
They wanted a name, a face and some answers so that they could be the ones with the "exclusive" interview. " "There's no way you two could still be friends, right? She is and will always be one of the my closest friends.
But no one stopped to think about how that might make her feel or how it might be catastrophic to the little stability we had in both of our lives after a heartbreaking accident. If she had done any press at all, after her 15 minutes of unwanted fame, my friend and I would both have been left to pick up the pieces of our relationship that we may or may not have been able to put back together.
But the truth is: I've pushed her in the pool dozens of times. We did not realize then how dangerous our seemingly innocent actions really were. I hope that my story can serve as a warning to others that what seems like fun and games can lead to a lifetime of paralysis or even worse.
Sadly, every year there are accidents just like mine, all originating from people goofing around near a pool. Here's the thing: An accident alone doesn't determine someone's character.
In my upcoming book "The Promise" I talk about how these were the most difficult days of my life, and writing it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.