I am 32 years old, and 14 years ago, my whole world changed. I was 18 years old and thought I was invincible. That all came to a sudden stop on April 12, 1997, when I was in a very serious automobile accident that took my friend’s life and changed mine forever.
My boyfriend was driving intoxicated and swerved off the road. The car flipped several times. None of us had our seatbelts on, and we were all thrown from the car. I flew out the automobile onto a tree stump, which left me in a coma for four and half months.
While in the coma, I had seizures. Doctors tried to get the seizures under control with a drug called Dilantin. I was allergic to that medicine, and it caused a severe reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. I lost all my skin from head to toe and had to be placed in the burn unit for treatment, also receiving a blister on the cornea caused me to be blind in the right eye. I spent 6-8 weeks in the burn unit at the Medical University of South Carolina, and came out of the coma in August.
I then went through an extensive time in physical, occupational and speech therapy. When able to get back to school and attempt to get my diploma, I was able to complete all of my courses, but unfortunately, was not able to pass the exit exam. I did receive my certificate of completion after a few years of trial and error.
Fourteen years later, I’m a new Misty and a mother. Ten years ago, I had my handsome, perfect little boy. After lots of searching, I finally found a job with Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina. I started out working in the back at the Goose Creek store as a processor hanging clothes. I am now a contractor working for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) on base for Goodwill®.
I still struggle with my short-term memory loss and poor balance issues, but being able to work with Goodwill has allowed me to believe in myself and my abilities. Through Goodwill, the things I have learned and am still learning helped me overcome all of my challenges.