Paralyzed volleyball player fighting back higher education e 87 gasoline


EATONVILLE, Wash. (AP) – There were nights when nothing could keep Richelle Heacock inside – not the TV, not the phone, not even the rain.She’d grab a basketball and head to the hoop by the garage.It didn’t matter that she’d already practiced for hours with her team. When you take pride in pushing yourself and want to be the best, you’ll wipe the rain off your face and get back on the three-point line.She’s trying to get back on that line now.In January, the 21-year-old from Ashford was paralyzed in a car accident on her way home for the memorial service of a sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty.Heacock, a lifelong athlete who went to the t gasthuys state high school basketball tournament four times and played college volleyball, now must use a wheelchair to get around.She said it’s been a challenging time, and she’s thankful today for the support she’s received.She’s bringing the same determination she showed in sports to her new goal: a full recovery. Which is why no one in her life – not her parents, not her sisters, not her coaches – seems to doubt she’ll get back on her electricity 4th grade powerpoint feet.In my mind I see her playing. I see her moving. I see her jump-setting. I see her serve. I see her left hand going up. I see her smile. I see all of that, said Kathie Woods, her coach at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. She’ll make it. I believe she’ll make it. If anybody can, it’s going to be Richelle.The college student had things to do on campus Jan. 4, 2010.There was classes, and the next day a meeting of the volleyball team was planned.But in December, Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Mundell was shot and died from his injuries. Mundell and Heacock’s father, John, worked side-by-side patrolling the southeastern part of the county in the Mountain Detachment.Mundell’s memorial service was Jan. 5. Heacock wanted to be there, so she got in her Lincoln and headed home.About 7:30 p.m., she lost control in the rain and fog on Highway 7 near Elbe. Her car hit a ditch and flipped.At the accident site, I knew I couldn’t feel my body, she said. I knew something was different.Heacock was rushed to the hospital in Morton and then to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She barely had a mark on her gas quality, but the C5 vertebra in her neck was broken. She was paralyzed from the chest down.Doctors said her chances of walking again were slim.Heacock doesn’t remember much about those early days. Her blood pressure dropped dangerously as she fought for her life in intensive care.But the seriousness of her prognosis worked its way through the fog and hit her hard.It was pretty difficult to see her (learn the news), said her older sister Trinity Sharpley, 34, of San Diego. She was saying, Volleyball is my life.’The entire family was thrown for a loop. In an instant, so much had changed.Heacock’s other sister, Sherylee Heacock, 30, of Puyallup, rushed to the hospital as soon as she heard about the crash. Her heart sank when her baby sister asked their dad to rub her hand.She didn’t realize he already was.Seeing her electricity physics khan academy laying there – your little sister who you want to take care of – your mind doesn’t comprehend it, Sherylee said.Questions were swirling. Would she survive? Would she return to the court? If not, could she find a new way to define herself apart from sports?Would she be the same determined person she was before?Her mom tells a story: Not long after the crash, Heacock asked an urgent question from her hospital bed. She wanted to know if she’d be able to make the volleyball team meeting the next day.Peg Heacock chuckles at the memory. Her daughter wasn’t confused, she said.Her neck was broken and her future uncertain, but – like always – her mind was on the game.Heacock is making progress toward her goal of walking again.Just over 10 months post-accident, she’s starting to get some movement back in her wrists, fingers and legs. She works out with physical and occupational therapists several times a week. If she’s asked to do one exercise, she does two.She’s always been that way.Heacock grew up shuttling from one practice to the next – high school basketball and volleyball, club and league teams.Her coaches say she was beautiful to watch, a whirl of speed and intensity. She had natural shell gas credit card 5 talent, and something more.Her dad tells a story: When she was in high school, she went after the ball during a basketball game and got hit in the face. Her nose jutted off to the side, possibly broken. She pushed it back and finished the game.There were times I’d have to tell her to let go of the ball so she wouldn’t get hurt, said Davina Serdahl, her basketball coach at Eatonville High School. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t seen her play. She never gives up.Her coaches can’t pinpoint the source of that drive. Neither can her family.Heacock’s two grade 6 electricity experiments sisters liked sports growing up, but she was obsessed, her mom said. Hooked from the time she picked up a basketball in grade school and a volleyball a few years later.Since the accident, she’s moved back in with her parents. The walls of their Ashford home are filled with mementos from her sports days: photos, posters, jerseys.Heacock said it’s hard being on the sidelines in a wheelchair instead of on the court. But she believes God has a plan for her life. Before the crash, she got a tattoo of the word faith on her foot. She said she’s trying to live by her Christianity and learn from the challenges she’s facing. She wouldn’t be able to make it without her faith and the love of her family, coaches, teammates and friends.In the months since the crash, her priorities have shifted.Sports have always been a huge part of me. I think I thought (sports were) who I was, she said. But I realized it’s not all of who I am. It’s something I do.When she gets better, she wants to finish college and become a teacher and coach. She’s already shared her story a few times in public and hopes it inspires others to hold onto their faith during difficulties and look to God for strength.She dreams about playing again. The basketball hoop by the gas pain in shoulder garage is gone, removed when volunteers built an extension onto the house so Heacock could have better access in a wheelchair.But she’ll find another place to shoot around. She’ll find a volleyball court.And she’ll take the volleyball in her hands and feel the leather beneath her fingers. She’ll still know how to send it over the net because some things are just inside you.Because it’s not all of her, but it’s part of her.Because there are some things that never change.The back part of Heacock’s home looks a little like a gym. There’s a stationary bike that shocks her legs with electricity to stimulate the muscles. There’s a hydraulic standing frame that builds strength.Her occupational therapist helped her into the frame the other day. With help from the straps and bars, she stood up to her full height. The minutes ticked away.When she first tried the frame, she could only stand for a few seconds. But on this recent afternoon, she passed the half-hour mark, 45-minutes, an hour. She wasn’t getting down anytime soon.When you take pride in pushing yourself, when gsa 2016 you’re determined to get better, you’ll stand all day if you have to.You’ll keep standing until you can walk.You know you can do it. It’ll just take a little faith, and a little sweat.___Information from: The News Tribune,