Motivating Stories from Local Women
Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for a truly motivating story by a woman who experienced them firsthand.
Photography by Emily Long / Photos taken on location at Hunter Museum of American Art
Jessica Hale, Spring City
All I can remember was fear and pain as I woke up from what I thought was a dream on that hot spring day. I was lying on the pavement with people standing over me as an ambulance arrived. I was only 18 years old when I had that car wreck. My car rolled several times and severely injured my arm, causing a traumatic near-amputation.
I was hospitalized for 38 days and bedridden for three months. I underwent 13 surgeries in the first month alone, and several more over the following years. It took two and a half years of physical therapy to regain function in my arm. At that time, I was going to college, which made it all the more difficult, and it was a long and challenging path to recovery that completely changed my life.
Because of my accident, I became a long-term patient of Dr. Jason Rehm, and it was a blessing to have him as my surgeon. I received a great outcome despite my significant injury. I often think about how close I was to having my arm amputated, and I am grateful every day. My medical team was compassionate, reassuring, caring, and humble, and Dr. Rehm was always someone I respected and sought to emulate because of his character and integrity.
By being a patient who received a positive outcome, my adversity turned into hope. I have since been inspired to become a physician in the hope of giving back to my patients. As a current senior general surgery resident, I hope to help others just as my medical team helped me, and I hope that my story can give others going through similar challenges some encouragement in what is such a trying time.
My accident not only changed my career choice but my outlook on life. I quickly learned at a young age to enjoy every minute of life, don’t take things for granted, and never give up.