Rachelle and her friends were at the home of one of the girls, when they decided to push her into the swimming pool–a prank that they had pulled many times before that hadn’t resulted in such a catastrophe. However, sadly, Rachelle landed on her head and immediately “went stiff”, as she recalls. Instead of panicking she says that she merely floated to the surface and instructed her friends to call 911. After arriving at the hospital, the doctors quickly determined that Rachel had sustained a C6 spinal cord injury–leaving her unable to walk or even feel sensation underneath her collarbone. Rachelle spent three months in the hospital before even realizing how long the road to recovery was going to be.
While Rachelle calls the experience a “reality check”, she is staying positive. She holds no ill will towards her friends and has even joined a wheelchair rubgy league. There are still insurance problems, however. She is now eligible for Medicaid given her income level, but if she marries her fiancee she will become ineligible because their combined income exceeds the maximum amount allowed by Medicaid. Nevertheless, she maintains that “it’s all about attitude” and is trying her best to adapt to her new life.