Life Without Limbs: Triad Woman Sympathizes With Boston Victims

4:57 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
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Asheboro, N.C. - Most of us will never know the pain and suffering many of the victims in Boston are facing right now. Many people lost one or more limbs after Monday's twin blasts.

A Triad woman knows all too well about the emotions some victims of the Boston bombings are feeling. About five years ago, Tina Byrd was in a bus crash. When she got out of the bus to help others, another car slammed into her. She lost both of her legs.

As Byrd watched everything unfold in Boston, she thought about everyone who got hurt, especially people who lost limbs. However, she insists losing arms or legs doesn't mean your life is over.

"It wasn't as hard as a lot of people think to adapt," Byrd said.

Byrd still remembers the first time she came home from the hospital.

"I broke down. When you get in your area in your familiar place and it seems so unfamiliar, that's when it sets in a lot," Byrd said.

Her home was not handicapped accessible, but she changed that right away.

"You're going to think, 'I'm never going to be able to go to the store without having someone with me. I'm never going to be able to do this. I'm never going to be able to do that.' You will...People are going to stare. People are going to look. At this point, I don't even notice it," Byrd said. "Mentally, my hardest part was trying to gain independence again. I had to learn to drive all over again."

But, she found a way to get back behind the wheel.

"I have a vehicle that has hand controls," Byrd said. "If I want to go somewhere, I go."

That's not all she can do.

"I cook, I clean, I wash clothes, I make my bed, I still do everything that I did before, except walk," Byrd said. "You can make it a whole new beginning...I'm probably happier now than I have been in years."

Tina's message to the victims in Boston is simple: Be glad you're alive. Life goes on, and you're just beginning a new chapter. Attitude is key. If you stay positive, you'll feel better.

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