In November 2006 I was in a horrific auto accident. I am creating this blog site exactly 6 years to the date of that night. My life changed forever on that fatal evening. A life ended, although by choice, none the less heartbreaking. The pieces of his motorcycle, and the pieces of my car were picked up and cleaned from the road. But the debris left behind have impacted so many lives since that night and till today. Choices impact not only the individual who makes them, they impact others. And often not just the person who takes the direct impact, as in my case. My incredible Ohana have all been affected by not only what happened to me that night, but all that has happened since…and they continue to be each day. I believe those who love me are affected far greater than I am…
I am so very sorry for that and for the pain of everyone affected by circumstances that happen in this life. I am so very sorry for the loss of a young mans life, who never had the chance to do all I imagine he dreamed of in this life. I am sorry for the loss his family must have felt, and for all the days, memories and life that won’t be shared. I hope that they forever cherish each and every memory and second spent together. He made a choice that night, and it’s one that can never be changed. My heart will always be linked to his loss. Although the accident was not my fault in any way, it doesn’t change the simple fact that someones life no longer exists. I hold no anger towards him. I didn’t walk away from the accident, but I did survive it, and that is something that I will eternally be grateful for.
My life is filled with blessings in all shapes and sizes. All of which I have appreciated since I was a young child. Always someone who valued life, and love. Always someone with great appreciation for such. I fought cancer and overcame it. I beat the odds many times in life. I fought death on enough occasions, you’d think I was a cat with nine lives. The last few years has been tough. That I won’t dispute. But they’ve been so incredible as well. I’ve been blessed to meet amazing Angels out there in the World. I’ve found a renewed faith that “REAL” doctors exist. Ones who know compassion, and truly put the Patient first. That treat you not only like you matter as human being, but like a Friend. Doctors who listen to their patients, and put the patients needs ahead of the dollar…
I’ve seen this medically from both sides. And it’s gotten me to where I now am. Mistakes were made a long the way, on the part of others, as well as on my own part for not better advocating for myself. I cannot go backwards and change the choices of myself, or of others. I can only go forward. And in truth that is the only direction in this life I know how to travel.
My story isn’t unique. Many people have endured hardships. People have been through far more and have endured things none of us want to imagine. Horrific things happen all over the world. And we can’t always understand the whys. Spend a day in a pediatric unit of a hospital filled with children fighting cancer… Realize that bad things don’t happen only to bad people. Aids, cancers, mental health disorders, the list goes on… They don’t just impact rapists, murderers and people who’ve wronged in this life. Life is about balance and with the hard we have the happy. And with the search for the why’s and what’s we often find more questions then we do answers… This is when acceptance comes to play. The ability to accept, adapt and overcome! Many people call me a survivor, I am far more than that, as are so many on this beautiful globe, I am a thriver. A survivor merely makes it through the tough stuff… a Thriver makes the tough stuff further strengthen not only themselves, but finds ways to help it strengthen others. A thriver find ways to better others lives while doing the best to better themselves.
My story isn’t something out of the ordinary. But sharing it with others gives me the ability to better help others. I’ve learned the hard way that we have to advocate for ourselves. We have to be armed with the knowledge to do so. We have to know what our options are in any given situation. We always have a choice. I am here to help in any way that I can. If anyone needs help with steps to better advocate for yourself, please contact me at anytime.
So often I hear people say there life is this way… or that way… because of all they have been through. I don’t choose that route at all. I am not a product of the circumstances that have happened to me in this life. I am a product of the every choice I have made in dealing with them. The every choice I’ve made in life period. The choice I make to have the positive attitude I have. The choice I make to love this world, everyone and everything in it. The choice I make to smile every single day, no matter how much pain I am in. We are all a product of our choices, not our circumstances.
This accident didn’t change who I am. It simply changed the way I have to adapt and overcome in this life. Life evolves, and we have to either evolve with it, or lay down and die. I’m not the type to lay down for much of anything in this life. So death can keep on moving…
A brief summary of what took place on a night when so many lives changed…. 6 years ago a young man struck my vehicle doing 162 mph with his motorcycle. I was left pinned inside my vehicle, in the middle of the road, awaking to consciousness, not knowing if other cars would see me in time to stop… Bleeding from my head, out my mouth, unable to see well, not knowing why. Not knowing I was now blinded in one eye… Not knowing I’d spend the next 6 years undergoing so many surgeries… All I knew is I was ALIVE. And needing someone to get me the heck out of this car so I could continue being alive. Thanking God that I was alone in the car that night. Being a single Mother of a 10 year old boy, my heart, my soul, and without a doubt one of my greatest reasons for wanting to be around in this life.
Here I am 6 years later with more surgeries than I can count behind me… A year ago, loosing my half of my foot and having bones from my leg removed and my ankle fused in an attempt to save my life and leave me something I’d still be able to not only walk on, but really live on, be active on, and be without pain. Instead I was left with more pain, nerve damage, an ankle fused at 122 degrees, leaving me to walk on a stump, and told never to walk on the stump… Here I was left wondering why things were worse then they had been prior to the last surgery. Not knowing that all that should have been removed, hadn’t been. Finding out a year later the only option left was to remove my leg, not only because of the above reasons, but also because once again it seemed without doing so I would not have a life to live at all. Sepsis and necrosis aren’t something I need to gamble with. The odds just aren’t in a persons favor. Learning this news, I chose to consult the top Doctors out there for opinions. I did the research, I took the time. And it was worth it all. I got real answers, and found real Doctors who wanted nothing more than to help me, and were horrified by the last 6 years I’d endured medically and the impact it had on my life..
3 weeks ago I had a below knee amputation performed. It was performed at Cedar Sinai Hospital. I was blessed to have an incredible Surgeon, an equally incredible Human Being handling the amputation of my leg. The Anesthesiologist was by far one of the most caring, healing Doctors I’ve ever met. A Pain Management Specialist who recognized along with the other Doctors on my team, that I had 6 years of pain embedded into my cortex, and the likelihood of loosing my leg from the knee down, would save my life, but also leave me with phantom pain for the rest of my life. Together these incredible Doctors would do everything in their power to prevent that. They all worked together to give me the best possible chance not just in surgery, not just in recovery, but for everything left to come thereafter. For a life. A future. One with the possibility of no pain. That was only 3 weeks ago, and here I am now heading to embark on the next leg (haha) of the Journey…In 4 days we’ll be starting the process of building my new leg. I’m so excited and am looking forward to being a part of the process through each and every step. Again haha. Sorry couldn’t resist.
(*** with lots of setbacks or roadblocks that often come in life, things didn’t play out quite as we had hoped. It’s now 6 months since having my leg amputated. I’m not yet walking due to many issues at hand. Improper prosthetic fit, adhesions, neuroma (tumor), and some other health issues that have arisen along the way. Pain is still very severe, but thankfully there has been no phantom pains. What was needing to be removed has been, and I’m still alive and kicking. That is the focus and all else will find it’s balance when it’s meant to. The struggles will only better help me to better help others with their own struggles. We have learned so much throughout this process, and that knowledge will have it’s purpose as does this entire experience. Soon I will walk again. And each day more steps will be added. I keep envisioning myself back out in the ocean on my board… walking the beach, feeling my feet in the sand… I am filled with faith and the power, strength and will to do far more than overcome the challenges at hand. I am thankful every day for the love, support, care and existence of the amazing loved ones who fill our Ohana’s lives each and every day. ***)
Anyway, this particular story is one that can fill a novel. (And that is my next project in the works)…This was merely a gist based on what we’re currently dealing with… For previous stories about me and the accident, please see any/all of the links below. I shared a few of the things, as there were many, that have been shared in the local news.
If you have managed to stay awake and have reached this point of the page, THANK YOU. Thank you for taking the time to care to even read my words. Thank you for choosing to connect with my life, and my heart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCwDUKnyA5E (updated video from Nov 2012)
Peggy Kan Hai