My name is Anita Krier, a Para-Athlete trainer, and Movement Specialist at Hartland Movement Center. Today, I want to share with you a story…Laura’s story. An Amazing Woman who inspires me every day.
“My name is Laura Dwyer. I am married (Chris) and I have 2 boys (Crandon and Thomas). I sustained an SCI on May 29, 2012.
The morning of Tuesday, May 29th started like any other morning. Chris off to work. I got the boys (4 and 6 years old) off to my parent’s farm for the day. I and a small crew went off to a Landscaping job. My life changed in an instant while working under an 80″ sugar maple tree. A huge branch suddenly broke and fell from 40′, taking down a power line and then me. The force of the blow sheared my spinal cord in 2 places, T12/L1, rendering me paralyzed. I also broke 3 bones in my foot and sustained 26 breaks in my ribs, 23 of them on the front right side.
I was flown via Flight-for-Life to Froedert Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My first of 2 surgeries was to stabilize my spine. Rods were placed and brackets attached, from somewhere in the area of T4 and down to the Lumbar vertebrae. The second surgery was a less common one where a thoracotomy was done and four of my ribs were internally fixated with flexible titanium plates and screws. I spent six weeks in the hospital with Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Recreational Therapists. They were my TEAM. Teaching me how to manage my bladder and bowels, transfer out of my chair, and other basic necessities to obtain independence once again.
Before my injury, I had been very active. Growing up on a farm, landscaping to pay for college, playing softball, and volleyball. I was a competitive volleyball player and played at the high school and college levels and beyond. Even after college I ended up the landscaping and playing volleyball every chance I had. My home life was filled with joy with my small boys and husband. We had a glorious vegetable garden in the back.
Upon my discharge from the hospital, I moved to my parent’s farm for almost nine months. My husband and his network of friends and family modified our home. So Grateful. It took years for me to realize I had more to offer the world and that I could continue to get stronger in Mind, Body, and Soul. Anita came to a fundraiser that was being held for me and my family. She gave me a card and told me that when I was ready to get strong, I should reach out to her. It took years and a not so gentle push from a friend before I entered Anita’s fitness studio. I never looked back.
I found out almost instantly that I had work to do. That I could strengthen my body, increase my endurance, be healthier, and FEEL BETTER! I thought I was to always feel like I was stuck in a rut. Boy, was I wrong? I am now working out 3-4 days a week. I do cardio circuits, floor workouts, yoga, Gyrokinesis, lengthening and strengthening and movement routines. I play basketball as often as time permits. I’ve gone water skiing, traveled via airplane to Denver and California, and gone Golfing using the Paramobile Stand up and Play Kart. I visit PT and OT students at the college level to help them learn and better understand SCI injuries. I am even working towards becoming certified as a Personal Trainer with the hopes of helping others like me, to grow and believe in themselves once again, and to strive to be more. Maybe one day I can try for Miss Wheelchair Wisconsin. For now, I will settle for being recruited to become a member of Team USA and represent the USA as a member of the Para Olympic Curling team.”
Laura is such an INSPIRATION! Her story is about what happened back in 2012, the rest of the story is “How she is moving forward, today!” She is livING, BreathING, doING, beING a Mother, sister, athlete, and wife. Her injury does not define who she is. THANK YOU Laura! YOU encourage me to be a better version of myself.