By Cindy Kolbe
In May of 2000, Elizabeth Kolbe, fourteen years old, was paralyzed in a car accident with a spinal cord injury at C6-7. That night, unable to move, Beth reassured her mom, saying, “I’m okay. Everything will be okay.”
Two surgeries and two weeks later, Beth transferred to a rehab hospital in Green Springs, Ohio, to work with an extraordinary physical therapist who was an expert in spinal cord injury. The first time in therapy, laying on her stomach, Beth could not lift her shoulders off the mat. At all.
“When I was injured, I really had no idea what was in store for me.”
Beth and her mom became a team, the younger one shy but determined. No progress in the first weeks, despite strenuous effort, exposed the extent of her hope. Incrementally, over more weeks, she learned how to sit up by herself and how to begin to use her hands.
“I had to relearn how to do everything.”