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Recovering from a spinal cord injury - an inspiring tale

In the wake of tragedy, a positive outlook on the future seems an impossible accomplishment. For two high school sweet hearts who lost touch and found each other again after each experienced life altering misfortune, the possibility that good can come from deep sadness is a reality. As Connecticut residents approach Valentine's Day, a story of love spurned from troubling experience may be appropriate.

In high school, two individuals developed a platonic relationship that later developed into something more. However, over time the couple went to separate colleges and became distant. Both ultimately married other individuals and lived separate lives. One day, the male in this story was involved in a horrible car accident with his then wife. The two experienced horrific spinal cord injuries where both suffered broken necks. They were passengers in an SUV accident at the time.

The man's wife did not survive the accident. As if things could not get worse, doctors informed him that his spinal cord injury could leave him quadriplegic. In spite of this dark diagnosis, the man slowly began to recover through physical therapy and sheer will. While he does not currently have full use of all his body parts, he certainly defied the diagnosis doctors issued years prior. Yet, he continued to remain distant from the outside world, struggling with his disability.

Simultaneously, his high school sweet heart went through her own tragedy. She underwent a difficult divorce with her then husband. After this trying process, she moved back home and eventually sought out her healing old friend by way of email. He responded in three days.

For the man, her email was a wake-up call, encouraging him to again seek contact with the outside world. The two have since rekindled their old feelings for each other and eventually married.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Love Notes: Adversity, Courage, Reward," Barbara Valentin, January 20, 2013.

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