Paige has an unreliable van and has a hard time getting around. Please help raise enough money for Paige to purchase a new handicap van.

On October 9, 2009, two days after her 16th birthday Paige's life was changed forever. Paige was a passenger in a car that was struck by a school bus. That school bus was carrying the Ely Football players. The accident happened in Coleraine. Her best friend, Emmy Foss was killed, and Paige was left a quadriplegic.

Paige was in the backseat of the car when it was hit and the impact of the bus caused her a tremendous amount of internal injuries. Paiges spinal cord at levels C-5 and C-6 were crushed, she had a shredded liver, a fractured right kidney, punctured lungs and a broken pelvis. She was air lifted to St. Lukes in Duluth; where the doctors gave her a 5 percent chance of living. Due to the intense damage to her liver, the doctors were unable to take her to surgery for her spinal cord, because of the chance of her bleeding to death. Paige was then put on life support, and into a medical induced coma.

Once Paige started to stabilize they took her to surgery, and put in a rod and pins in the front of her spinal cord, which helped to decompress it slightly. She had to wait to stabilize the back portion due to her liver damage, and not being able to be turned over. A week or so later they took her back to surgery to stabilize her posterior neck. During all this time she had in chest tubes for her lungs, and underwent several surgeries including an abdominal exploration, because her body was not accepting the tube feedings due to her being malnourished and weak. They could not figure out why, even after the surgeries, her body would not accept the tube feedings, so they started her on total parental feedings (through the veins).

In November she slowly was able to be weaned off the ventilator and a trachea was placed in her neck. She had to continually be monitored on that because she had so much fluid that needed to be suctioned out of her lungs. She fought for her life every day. She had to fight to get stronger so she could start therapies to regain as much movement as possible because of her spinal cord injury.

It was on December 1, when she was able to go to the Mayo in Rochester to begin her therapy. It was a struggle to get her there due to no health insurance. It took involving the governor to get transportation and acceptance. Paige never gave up hope and was a fighter the whole way through.

Therapies in Rochester started right away and it involved a full day of scheduled events for Paige. She had Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and started her school tutor. The doctors at Mayo were simply amazed at the good attitude Paige had and how hard she worked each day. She always a smile on her face. She did have a set- back in January 2010 because she had surgery on her bottom to heal a sore that had started in Duluth. She had to be flat on her back for 30 days. Even after all that she continued to have a positive attitude and fight to get her strength back.

"Seven months later, Paige was ready to go home!!! Her hard work and great attitude paid off. She continued therapy at Grand Itasca and did home schooling all summer. In the fall she returned full time to high school and is now on the 'A' honor roll.

Paige is in a powered wheelchair. She has no movement or feeling from her chest down. Her arms are strong but she has little finger movement and little trunk control. Her family has remodeled their home and built her a handicap bathroom and living quarters for her, along with a ramp. Due to her step father being laid off from the mines at the time of her injury, she had no health insurance at the time.

Paige has talked to the Virginia High School students on the dangers of distracted driving and cell phone use and texting while driving. She has been an inspiration to all and plans on continuing to share her story with people to try and prevent any tragedies that can happen with distracted driving.

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    Assisting individuals with disabilities to live independently, pursue meaningful goals, & have the same opportunities & choices as all.
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