Atlanta Woman Finds New Joys in Life After Losing Use of Legs
ATLANTA, GA. – July 26, 2018 (11alive.com) After a birth defect and operation left her without the use of her legs, an Atlanta woman has found a new zest for life. The story is reported at 11alive.com.*
Several years ago, Yvette Pegues discovered she had a condition called Arnold Chiari Malformation. A Chiari malformation, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is a structural defect in the base of the skull and cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance. The condition was causing Pegues to slip into a state of paralysis.
“My brain stem was too long at birth,” Pegues said. “[I] didn’t know anything about it, but at this point, the paralysis was actually caused by my brain falling into my spinal cord.”
To correct the issue with her brain stem, Pegues had to undergo a surgical procedure, a repercussion of which would be total loss of the use of her legs. “As a result of that operation, I walked in and never walked back out,” she said.
After her surgery, Pegues became depressed, but her outlook changed when she heard about something her young son said at school. “I don’t know if I was feeling sorry for myself,” she said. “I do know I was in a lot of pain, but then, my then-7-year-old son asked his teacher was his mommy gonna die, and I said, ‘Ok, I gotta get up.’”
Since becoming motivated by her son, Pegues has not stopped moving. She has written a book, won several wheelchair pageants, and started an organization to provide needed resources to people with disabilities. Pegues has even been rock climbing. When she is out of her wheelchair participating in activities like rock climbing, she has a sign for her chair that reads “Out Enjoying Life.”
“As far as I’m concerned, there’s really nothing that stops me,” Pegues said. “If it’s adaptive, and my husband gives me his blessing, and he doesn’t mind a few more gray hairs, I just do it. I say, ‘Life doesn’t end at the point of injury.’ You can live forward after a life-changing event.”
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