I came across the fundraising page of this beautiful and strong lady Lizzy Oke. She is truly an inspiration, and reminds me that it is good to persevere, it's good to stay positive and it is good to thank God in everything.
Lizzy story was featured a few years ago on the site Bella Naija, but for the sake of those who may not know what happened to her I will reshare her story. I am glad people like her still exists.

Prior to the accident, I was a happy teenager who had dare-I-say everything I needed. I had my parents’ love and was studying to be a nurse. I remember some called me happy, bubbly, cheesy, cute, nice, smart, conversationalist and so on.
I was that girl on Hi5 (the pre-facebook social networking website) who had the uncountable number of friends, and changed her profile picture just about every week. I loved getting dolled up, looking my best, taking pictures and knew how to have fun.

The Accident
On Sunday, March 23rd 2008, after spring break, I packed my things, and went to the living room to bid my parents farewell before going back to school. Before I got into the car, I got quite indecisive and even asked my parents if they thought it was a good idea to drive. After some time had passed, I decided to call a friend, who was also going to school, so we could drive in a convoy. We planned to meet each other at a gas station, to embark on our three and a half to four hour journey from Texas to Oklahoma. When I got there, I still felt uneasy and even contemplated leaving my car at the gas station for my dad to pick up. But when I thought about having to keep asking people for rides at school, I decided to get over “this back-and-forth” crap, and get in my car already.

The drive began and I had some Sammie Okposo playing in the car. I started singing “Jesus I thank you, Wellu Wellu, You do well for me, Wellu Wellu … I no know wetin I do, Wey make you love me so”. Not too loud, not too low, just something to keep me awake. I drove behind my friend, and everything appeared fine. I wasn’t drunk, talking on the phone, or doing one of those driving don’ts.

I later learned from my friend that about 30 to 40 minutes to our destination, she looked back in her rear mirror, and saw my car flipping. The cops at the scene and everyone who “witnessed” the whole situation couldn’t explain what happened or caused the accident, as my car was the only one involved. My car flipped over for about 4 times, and it was up-side-down when the ambulance and helicopter crew got there.

I honestly, till this day, don’t remember how the accident happened. 
I only remember what happened after the accident. I had a feeling that I was upside down, and I saw a police officer in an upside down manner telling me not to close my eyes and stay with him. I told him I felt like sleeping, and he warned me not to sleep. I remember thinking “see me see something oo, I should not sleep ke, what is a police officer doing here gan self?” I attempted to close my eyes again, then I heard the police officer telling me calmly that I had been involved in a car accident, and I had to stay awake. In my head I was like “accident?” He began asking me a variety of questions such as my name, phone number, my parent’s phone number e.t.c. When the number of questions reduced, I started saying over and over again “I shall live, I shall not die. I shall live to declare the glory of the Lord, to the declare the works of the Lord, to declare the counsel of the Lord, in the land of the living, in this year 2008, and several, several years to come”.

Lizzy's car after the accident
After the accident, I was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital in the state of Oklahoma (OU Medical Center). The doctors said the accident affected my spinal cord at C4 level, and about 3 to 4 different surgeries were performed during the course of my stay at the hospital. I couldn’t move my legs or my arms and couldn’t even shrug my shoulders.

Starting Over
I don’t remember a lot of things that happened the first couple of days, but I remember my parents and best friend being in the hospital room, and they all had the “oh God” look on their faces. All I could think of was to assure them that I was fine. Then, I remember asking jokingly, “Is my face messed up or alright”? That question seemed to lighten everyone’s mood and they all burst out laughing because my face was not affected by the accident in a major way. Just little bruises here and there. Hearing them laugh in the midst of the chaos and “fear of the unknown” was very therapeutic to me. After the laughter, we went on talking about how much they all know I love my face and we talked about so many other little things that livened the mood (at least to a certain level).  I stayed in the hospital for a little over a month, most of which was spent in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and was then transferred to a rehabilitation center also in Oklahoma (Valir Rehab).
I stayed at that rehab for about another month, trying to re-learn to do basic things I could do before, such as eating, sitting without falling, brushing my teeth, holding a comb and so many other little things I couldn’t believe I was unable to do; I couldn’t sit without being held up by pillows, my left hand was in a cast and I could only use my right hand, which wasn’t completely functional because my fingers were curled inwards, and of course, I couldn’t walk or even dress myself. My neck had a collar around it to steady my neck and spine, so rehabilitation was not fun.

The left hand brace was off after a while but I was nowhere near being able to do things on my own. I moved back to Texas where I stayed in another rehabilitation center (Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation) for yet another month of vigorous therapy. There I learned how to do a lot more and began learning how to be as independent as possible on the wheelchair. Over the years, I’ve attended several other out-patient facilities to continue my strengthening exercises and therapies.

Support from Family and Friends
Family support, including support from my best friend, my boyfriend and certain other friends was something I didn’t lack and still don’t lack. During my stay in the hospital and the rehabilitation center in Oklahoma, my parents, best friend and little brother, would travel back and forth (from Texas to Oklahoma) to see and be with me. I remember some of my good days being days when my mom would bring me home-cooked meals, and I would eat it with such joy because I got tired of hospital food. My little brother was a breath of fresh air, he smiled at me every time he came; and just was the cutest and wonderful source of joy.
I remember my dad and mom sitting down in the room, keeping me company bringing up topics that were not related to the situation at hand and my best friend curling up on the little hospital chair and as uncomfortable as the hospital chairs were, they all stayed there for hours keeping me company. I remember my mom praying and assuring me that “God is good, and he has kept me alive for a purpose”. We all prayed together, laughed together, and had some silent tear shedding moments together.

What kept me going through the medical treatment was first and foremost the fact that God kept me alive for a reason. My desire to get up, and get back to my “normal self/life” was also a great motivating factor. My family, love from people (those I knew, and barely knew), and friends also kept me going. Prayers kept me going as cousins, aunties, families and friends far and near all prayed for me.
Speaking of friends, since I was in Oklahoma and most of my friends were in Texas. I understood how “hard” it probably was for most of them to visit me, but those who did, blew my mind in ways they can’t possibly understand. Aside from my best friend, I had a friend who came to see me just about every weekend. I thank God for friends who made me laugh even when nothing looked funny at the time. My eyes were blood-shot red, neck was in a collar, arm in a cast, and I could barely breathe on my own, but none of the people who came to see made me feel less of the “real me”. Of course I had friends – whom I expected to show up – that didn’t show up, but I forgave them. I was very fortunate to have people around me who showered me with their love and concerns that it didn’t even matter who hadn’t visited.

I went back to school less than a year after the car accident – despite all odds – and I remember my first semester back to school was the hardest. I had a room to myself in the dorm – yes, no roommate – and I had the manual wheelchair. The first week of school, I fell from the wheelchair and smashed my face on hard concrete! Can you imagine? My car flipped over 4 times, I broke a spinal cord in a car accident, and my face wasn’t affected, but 1st week in school, the face got smashed on concrete! Shame on Satan!  I had a swollen face, lips, and massive headaches for days.

It’s strange but my outlook on life changed for the better. I realized that life was short, and we have to thank God for each day we are blessed with. Do the best you can do each day! Tell and show those whom you love that you genuinely and truthfully love them. I know this sounds cliché like, but honestly, it’s the truth. Live your life right, and keep God first in your life. Remember that you won’t always get things right, but correct them whenever you realize you’re getting them wrong.

I feel happier and a lot more at ease with life now than I did before the accident. However, this doesn’t mean that “I have accepted my fate, and concluded to life on a wheelchair forever”. Oh no, it’s far from that. I am thankful for being alive and well, and one thing stays constant in my life, my faith in God. I believe that I will walk again, but until that time, I will continue to conquer and live this life. The fact that I choose to live my life happy and grateful doesn’t mean I have lost hope/trust/faith in walking again.

I have been able, by the grace of God to go back to school, travel everywhere I want, and do the things I want to do, because I now have a deeper understanding of the phrase “Life is short”. I stay smiling because I genuinely know joy that is beyond comprehension. I came to realize that some things are not as serious as we take them to be.

Life on the wheelchair is not always perfect though.  Recently I was looking for an apartment and I ran into a problem. Most of the apartments are easily accessible; but the wheelchair couldn’t fit in most of the restroom doors; this is the same for some houses and most residential places. I eventually found an apartment with complete accessibility. I’m telling this story because some unforeseen issues arise.
This “new life” is definitely different than what I was used to for 18 years. Almost everything one does has to be planned or done with additional time, and for someone like me who is spontaneous, it took some getting used to. I had to devise ways to do things faster, quicker and be creative. For example, I enjoy being fashionable and wanted to continue to dress as I pleased, but after the accident I couldn’t wear jeans because they are really hard to wear. I found out that most maternity jeans have a flexibility to them that regular jeans don’t have, which makes them easier to wear. I also don’t have to worry about buttons and zipper resulting into skin problems. High-heels are out of the question because I have to rest my foot on the wheelchair, so I pick out flat shoes that are comfortable but look good.

Wheel Chair Accessibility in Nigeria
I was in Nigeria the summer of year 2009, and that was pretty challenging. I really don’t think disabled people are adequately cared for in Nigeria. During my visit, I realized that roads in Nigeria are not wheelchair accessible. Offices, buildings, shopping stores, markets, even schools are not accessible. I understand the aesthetics of stairs in a building, but SERIOUSLY? Does every building need stairs? One day, while in Lagos, I wanted to go into a bank with my friend and her mother, but come to find out, the bank’s entry had about 4 tiers of stairs, and even if I was able to get past the stairs by some manner, the doors to the bank are so small that a wheelchair would not fit into it. Also there was no back door to go in through! I was glad to see ATMs, but soon realized that someone on a wheelchair couldn’t even reach them! Where does this leave wheelchair users? No access to banks? Schools? Businesses? Companies?

I was even more heartbroken to see that the federal capital of Nigeria was not completely wheelchair accessible. I wanted to go into a popular shopping complex in Abuja but there was no ramp to easily take me into the complex. My cousins and a few people around had to literally lift me and the wheelchair up about 10 steps of stairs just to get into the shopping complex. Good thing the shopping complex had elevators, so I was able to explore each floor, but who needs an elevator when you cannot get past the stairs outside on your own?

The Nigerian Government is NOT adequately caring for people with disability, in my opinion.  If schools are not wheelchair accessible, what is life to become for a person who is disabled?  Without education, we know it’s hard to get a good job, and without access to most business places, a disabled individual is more susceptible to being poor, and having to beg for money and basic every day necessities.

I understand that it’s hard to make old buildings, old buses etc… wheelchair accessible, but what about the new things? A wheelchair user cannot get on BRT buses, or almost any other form of public transportation. I am not going to act like I know the bills that are passed in Nigeria, but if there is already a law on how every building, businesses, and schools ought to be wheelchair accessible, but people are not obeying, I think it’s time for the government to start fining and making sure people/businesses pay for not obeying the law. I don’t want to blame the government alone though, a lot of schools in Nigeria are “private schools”, and a lot of businesses are built by regular people who have nothing to do with the government, so I urge everyone out there, , to also please, do their parts.  It is easy to see a disabled person and pity them; however, pity does not bring change when no action follows it.
To the Disabled
Physical disability does not mean mental disability and it’s not a plague. That a person is disabled physically, does not make them less important or condemned.
You are the best person who understands what you’re going through, so let your voice be heard. Be presentable, look the best you can. Get rid of all bitterness – I agree that sometimes people “just don’t understand” what we’re going through. But please don’t make this an excuse to be a bitter, angry, or an unforgiving person.

My final message of hope for people experiencing a similar situation is 1st Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”. God Bless you all.

"It has been a long journey, but after the car accident that resulted in what the doctors called A Spinal Cord Injury and left me with no other choice but to use a wheelchair for daily living, I have maintained my faith that I will walk again.
It has been a trying period in my life, but GOD has been faithful and helped me through so much. I Thank God for wonderful family members, friends, and well wishers all around me.
I have been able - by the grace of God - to complete my Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree despite being on the wheelchair, and I continue to push myself - Lol...ha. I just said PUSH - But... Anyhoo, I try not to place limitations on myself.

I am a firm believer that with GOD, all things are possible. And this is one of the main reasons why I went to project Walk. I believe that I will walk again, but I also know that Faith without work is nothing. 
After spending some time at Project Walk and realizing that it's a place I'd like to go to for extensive therapy, I decided to start this fund raising page so that I can get enough money to attend the therapy sessions. 

If you'd like to learn more about Project Walk, or are wondering why I need so much money to go there, Please read more about them by CLICKING HERE. 

Each therapy session is not cheap and that's exactly why I had to start this fund raiser. 
This $5000 goal is for approximately TWO MONTHS OF EXTREME THERAPY at Project Walk. 

I would like to create a fund that goes on for an extended period of time so that I can attend therapy for a longer period of time, but Logic dictates I start with a realistic goal first.
Although the "goal" is $5,000 I have enabled "overfunding" so the more money we raise the more Physical Therapy I can Get.
My prayer is that, doing this, coupled with my faith as well as God's Mercies will Get me back on my feet and walking again.
Keep me in your prayers please. 
I'll greatly appreciate whatever amount you choose to donate. 
God Bless you and thanks for reading/Donating. "
With Love. 
Lizzy O. 

Although Lizzy has reached her goal of $5000, I would encourage anyone in the position to give, to give. There is much blessings in blessing someone.

Below is a post from Lizzys' site which she titled Watch and Pray.

I am grateful for wonderful people around me, and I’m sure everyone appreciates real, caring and loving people. Take a moment right now and reflect on those people around you; those whom, without, you wouldn’t be who you are right now. I bet you probably have a couple of people floating in your mind… right? Well, do they know you appreciate them?

Be grateful for every friend you have who never fails to tell you the truth no matter how much s/he knows it'll hurt you to hear it. Those kinds of friends are hard to come by. BUT, be careful with friends who ONLY point out the negative things in your life; those friends who always seem to disappear when you've achieved something great, but are the first to appear when something goes wrong. 

I titled this post “watch and pray” because if you’re not vigilant – that is, if you don’t watch – you won’t notice the people in your life who fall into the category of “negative people around you”. 

If you don't pay attention, if you don't watch, you won't realize you have negative people in your life, because they will shower you with love when things are going bad, so much so that you begin to think they care about you. 

You have to be careful and probably refrain from friends who seem to always downplay your success with words like "My cousin made a 4.0 in college, but I'm happy you made a 3.95", “it’s nice you bought a Toyota, but my brother just bought a Mercedes Benz”.

Flee from friends who only show up to pity you, with words like "that sucks, eyahpele, God dey" but are never around to say "You did it, that's my girl/boy, congratulations or I knew you could do it". 

When you find yourself only able to say "s/he was there when I lost my cat, s/he was there when I lost my mom, s/he was there when I broke my head, s/he was there when my boy/girlfriend dumped me", but you don't remember s/he being there when you graduated, when you had a baby, got married, or got an award, then you need to start praying that s/he gets out of your life. 

This brings me to the second part of my title, Pray. Aside from making an effort to stop talking to or cut out the negative people in your life, you need to Pray. Prayer should be included in all you do and I say pray because some people have the same spirit the boy in Matthew 9:14-29 had in him. That spirit in them – like in that boy – can only be driven out by prayer (Matthew 9:29). The negative people in your life will always be there to point out what a failure you are, and they will never help you move forward. You can’t make any progress when there’s negativity around you. Their words are "don't worry, you only a failed a college class, remember that time you broke your tooth?” It appears their job is to point out only the negativity in your life! 

The pity and words of negative people can leave you dry – feeling or acting LESS than the person you really are. Also, since they always show up when something negative happens, it will appear as though nothing good ever happens to you. Flee from these people. 

Earlier, I stated that you need to pray because, not answering their calls won't do it. Let's face it; they'll probably appear at your mutual friends' birthday party and sit near you, forcing you to tell them "what's been going on with you" - so that they can add that to their already long list of things going on in your life. When you start saying the good things going on with you, they somehow manage to switch the topic to something bad that has happened to them – and this in turn gets you in what I call “the pity mode”. When you’re in this mode, you end up saying something bad that has happened to you just to make them feel better about their situation. You will most likely end up saying, "Aww… sorry friend, it's been long we saw each other, I didn't know you broke your hand... I also got a big bruise in my leg when I ran into the garage with my bicycle yesterday ". 

You see what just happened there? You were trying to run away, but they got you again. You didn’t want to tell them anything about yourself, but once they got you in the “pity mode”, you had to be nice. You wanted to relate… but now, they have YET another thing to add to the list of negative things that happens to you! At the risk of sounding like a nagging mother or persistent pastor, I will say to you right now: trying to run away from the negative people around you alone won't do it. You have to add prayer in the midst. 
We all will experience some unpleasant things/events in life. 

Misfortunes are bound to happen, failure is sometimes inevitable, but you don’t need people around you who always point these things out to you. Search your life, see if you have some negative people in your life, and take action. Do something about it now because you’re only cheating yourself if you let negative people dictate how you feel about yourself. A lot of people think they are not progressing because of something they’re doing wrong, but most people who have potential to succeed are being pulled back by the negativity around them. You can be happy, and you should have people who celebrate your success around you.

Remember, Any friend who doesn’t help in your spiritual walk with Christ is questionable, but a friend who draws you nearer to God is a friend indeed.

My prayer point for everyone is: 
Yoruba: Oluwa gba wa lowo awon Ota Ti wa'n se bi ore oo!
Translated in English: Father Lord in heaven, deliver us from enemies that act like friends. 

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