The Caliber of Healing
It. Was an ordinary spring, day in Colorado. Shooting. At Columbine, High School and, a. New era of gun violence, in Colorado, and America. You. Live. For, 47. Years. Going. Through life in a certain way. And. Then you. Lose a child everything, is then marked by that day. I. 20th, 2012. Another. Mass shooting in Colorado this. Time at a movie theater. How about me I try. To get down on the floor and then about five, minutes later I'd remember just being frozen and then waking. Up in the hospital. Mass. Shootings, drive-by. Shootings. Accidental. Shootings, all. Too common, we're. Talking about over. 80,000. People. Every, year in this country who. Were injured. By, bullets. This. Is where the bullet is and this is why, you're not gonna be able to walk anymore and. I just remember, like. Laying on my bed and not, even knowing what to think you know what happens, to those, who survive those. Medical, bills just, kept coming in for. Many, many, many years after, my injury and, then the ongoing all. Your life cost, that is associated to. Living, with a spinal cord injury. What. Does it take physically, financially. And, emotionally to, heal the wounds I often, wonder if those, people who survive will they have permanent, neurologic, injuries, that will not, allow them to be as mobile as they were before how. Do they move forward. You. Tom. Mauser has spent the past 20 years walking, in his son Daniels, shoes. Is. The shoes he was wearing that day on, April 20th and I wear them proudly I only wear them when, I'm speaking. On. This issue. Because. I want to preserve them as much as I can for the future I. Think. 20. Years in my life is, a long time and yet. It's. Not that it seemed. Like yesterday but, it's. Hard to believe that it's 20 years my, wife and I speak, in those terms very often before and after, Columbine, that's, a, defining. Moment in our, lives. Fifteen. Year-old Daniel was one of 13 people killed at Columbine, High School there's. 2,000, students going to call him by what are the chances the team was somehow, involved, in something, bad going on. Tom. Was supposed to leave town that day to attend, a conference when. He saw the news reports. They're. Patting down or they're checking to make sure that, none of these has the potential to be a suspect to make sure that none, of these people is involved in the incident that they are, not carrying any type of a weapon it was really my co-workers, that convinced. Me to forget about the conference, for now you need to go home and find out what's going on but, here's more and more students coming out again. Tom, and his wife went to Columbine, looking for Daniel but. They couldn't find him. You. Go into the room there's, some other parents, and they have counselors there. He's. Thinking nothing nothing. Good can happen at. That point. The. Bowser's waited, we. Went to bed that night not knowing. Where. He was if, he was alive. It. Wasn't until about noon, the next day that the police came to our house and informed, us that he was one of the victims. In that. Instant, the mousers. Went from having a high-school sophomore to. Grieving parents. How. Do you find happiness how, do you move forward how do you also. Grieve. How do you try. To honor your child, and keep. Your family together. Society. Unfortunately tends to try to. You. Know. Put. A lid on it and. Well, isn't it great the way the Columbine community, came together and, then I know there's. A whole lot of others that. Were impacted, in other ways even, though they weren't shot and. That was the trauma the PTSD. People. Who are still living with that today. And while. The Columbine, Victims, Fund paid, for many costs, the, emotional, cost of losing a child was, monumental. Really. The biggest cost for us was just the, peace of mind that we had I don't. Think people realized, that the strain that you go through with, all the media attention that there was on Columbine, the, strain that puts on you being in the public eye.
Every. Part of his life has changed. When. You have something. Happened like this there strain with your friendships, we lost some friends they simply didn't know how to deal, with us. Just. About two weeks before the. Tragedy Columbine. Daniel. At the dinner table asked me a question, did you know there were loopholes, in the Brady Bill. The. Brady Bill was the national law that requires that a background, track be conducted, before making a purchase. Two. Weeks later he was killed with a gun that was purchased through a loophole, in the Brady Bill. How. Could I not act on that. I give. To you Tom Mauser. Tom. Took a sabbatical and went to work for an organization lobbying. The Colorado State Legislature. The. Goal to. Close the loophole and background, checks when guns are bought and sold. Regional. People are understanding. That this effort is simply, about keeping, guns out of the hands of kids and criminals. Reasonable. People understand, that, law-abiding. Citizens, who pass a background check will, still be able to buy their guns, voters. Overwhelmingly approved. The issue voting. It into law in 2000. And. I want you to work with me to. Fulfill Daniels. List. Tom's. Activism, has helped, his healing but. It hasn't come easy when. You get involved an issue like this the hate mail the. Harassment, the. The nastiness. It's, not been good I know I haven't, liked that part of it for. Tom it is the only way during. Those days when I was advocating as, today, I. Wore. These shoes. These. Are the shoes of my son Ward. He. Was wearing on April 20th 1999. It. Was doing, things in Daniels, name. For. Me healing was really a combination, of things trying, to keep a sense of humor in my life and trying to be upbeat, it. Was family, honoring. Him having. His website. Talking. To young people, those. Things. Played. A really important role tom, will forevermore, in Daniel as one of the lives lost that day, but. There were two survivors, two. Students, shot and paralyzed. What's. The quality of life for some of those people especially if they become severely. Paralyzed. Their. Lives are changed and. When you think of the, trauma that causes and, the. Cost of that. It's. Greatly, greatly overlooked. Stephane. Moton was like so many kids he. Loved to play basketball, and football with, his friends, and. He spent his free time going, to parties and to movies I mean. My brother were talking about movie, talking about going to see Batman cuz, we like loved superhero, movies and stuff like that so, we're waiting, to see Batman and, then. Yeah. We just went to the movies that. Night and then all, that, happened. July. 20th, 2012. Except. My body but I hit me in the spinal cord. 12. People died at the wrong. -. Including. Stefan boat were. Left paralyzed, I was. A 18, years old it was almost my night scene birthday. For. Stefan going. From a young active, kid to, a person confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life was. A hard concept to grasp. You. Don't know like what's going on like you don't know how you're.
Gonna Live, life like you don't you, not, prepared for those type of things or mentally. It's like just kind of hard. Stefan. Spent a month in the hospital before. Being transferred, to Craig rehabilitation. Hospital, for three months I teaching, I gotta live after the, injury how to cope with it like physically. Mentally, emotionally. And, like it's just a good place to be like if you get injured like what a spinal cord or any kind. Of injury like that cuz that a lot of resources, a lot of good, people that help you and trying to teach you. In. The beginning, Stefan, was completely, immobile and couldn't, talk. He. Lost all strength in his abdomen chest, and, vocal, cords. Yeah. Stefan's. Life has completely changed, he. Is almost completely, dependent on his friends and family which. He says he's, lucky to have like. I didn't want to go out so because I couldn't be able to talk to anybody like, they couldn't hear me. Right. Physically. Like. I didn't, know. Like, how the world will look at me like I didn't know like how they. Were cept like what, I looked like from now cuz I'm not used to being. In the chair or like not be able to move at all. Stephane, is one, of about two hundred and seventy-seven, thousand people in Colorado who, live with a permanent disability a. Disability. That. Prevents him from moving, from place to place on his own. Chanda. Hinton likely is another. His. Wife's not there. His sons taking a nap right now. So that's gonna make it even more awkward. Because. They're a distraction. She. Was injured when she was just nine years old. She. Says it started like so many childhood games, this. One over, a popsicle. We. Were like brother and sister during this period, of life and time and so for us running, to the freezer and going, for a popsicle and fighting about what color and what we were gonna have was. All natural good and fun. One. Of the boys was sitting across from me and the other one was coming out of the hallway, and he said oh we know Chanda took one of our red popsicles let's just just shoot her that we don't have to worry about it and it, was it was a it was very it was a joking, thing, that, little tiny action. That shouldn't. Result, and, what occurred, but my choice of actually standing, up and walking over and getting, a red popsicle, is really. The, catalyst, that resulted, in why I am. In a wheelchair today as. Chanda. Ate the popsicle, her, friend Trevor, jokingly. Pointed, a gun at her that still had a bullet left in the chamber. The. Gun fired and the, bullet lodged in chandus spinal cord. Paralyzing. Her instantly. He. Picked me up and he laid me down on the couch I remember. Asking them to call my mom and, to. Call 9-1-1 and. They were they were scared. At first they were like no they didn't want to call anyone because they were worried. About you, know getting into trouble and I think that as young boys it, was a natural reaction because. I don't, think that they really knew the magnitude, of what was truly. Occurring. In front of them. Chanda. Knew immediately that, something was wrong I was. Having, an internal debate with myself about, whether I was, actually going to live or die you know I can only imagine what. It looked like because, my, entire body just completely, went limp I felt, a lot, of tightness and my throat which, the tightness of my throat was because my, neck had fallen. Backwards. I couldn't feel.
The. Barstool. That I was sitting on so it's like when you completely. Lost all of that, connection. To. Gravity. And ground and everything, you kind of you don't know what's really going on. Nearly. 30 years later janda. Sits in a wheelchair a quadriplegic. Forced. To deal with the new reality at, just nine years old, a. Very. Different, childhood, than expected, and a, lifetime of expenses. When. I was little my parents. Were told to actually, quit, their jobs and go on to. Public. Assistance and, welfare because the, cost of me living with my. Injury, was very. Expensive. Are. You requiring a lot of medical care there's, often a lot of pharmaceutical, management, that needs to happen which is very expensive. Candy. Tea for teller is the, director of physical therapy, at Craig Hospital and a board member at the Chanda planned Foundation, Craig. Is a nationally, recognized, rehabilitation. Hospital, in Denver, specializing. In spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, if somebody loses the ability to walk they, then require a wheelchair, to be able to mobilize and sometimes that's a power wheelchair which can, cost upwards of $30,000. In terms, of being able to use the bathroom every day and being able to shower every day there's, bathroom and shower equipment, that's needed sometimes that can cost upward to. Ten thousand dollars. About. Five percent of patients seen, at Craig Hospital are gun-related. Many. Of the costs associated with long-term care of those patients are often. Overlooked. My. Wheelchair is, around. $20,000. My van. Is around. 120,000. The modifications. To my house has been around. 35,000. For the person that comes in and helps me literally dress. Bathe, go to the bathroom all those kinds of things she alone, that's, 4,000, a month there. Are lifts, for people to get in and out of their chairs in. And out of bed. There. Are pressure injuries, from, sitting most of the time, surgeries. And there. Is the mental toll the, emotional, cost those are just as impactful, there was the financial, cost and it's really helping people understand, who they are and getting back into their communities, and the same types of roles that they had before. As. I. Age with my disability. There's, always going to be moments, where you. Know because this doesn't go away there's still emotions, that. Come with it and the difficulties, that I have all, of this was, will, continue, for the rest of my life like none of these pieces of healing. Will ever go away. For. Those who survived, gun, violence and have injuries, tremendous. Impact on them and one, of them is just simply that you have people who have. The attitude well aren't you glad that you survived, and that, you weren't killed I don't. Think those people realize, all that those, people, have, to go through. Some. Of the things they have to go through just to lead, a daily, life I. Was. Born in Mexico and my parents migrated. Here to the United States when I was 11 months and we. Basically moved over here to this house when, I was in second grade so this has been where, I basically known, all the good and bad memories I. Was. Going. To school like a regular day and I. Went through all my classes and I got out early that day. Shots. Fired from a car putting schools, on lockdown and, a 17, year old girl in the hospital, it happened this afternoon just, across the street from Aurora Central High School. Karina, start again ran home to get her new puppy to bring back to school to show her friends. When. She returned she was caught in gang-related, crossfire. Tupac's. Pop. And. I ran in the house they told the wife get down get down get down. Shot. In a drive-by outside, Aurora. Central High School that. Was December 6th, 2010. All. I remember, hearing is just the. Gunshot I, blacked. Out and when I woke up I was already on the ground my. Ears were ringing I. Looked. Down and I saw that my legs were laying, flat on the ground but. They felt like they were sticking straight up in the air. The. Bullet lodged and remains behind her stomach and Karina. Will never walk again, when. I woke up I was already in intensive, care with, neck braces I had, a chest, brace oxygen. Tubes I had a whole bunch of like things just. Sticking. Out of my body because. Karina, was an undocumented, immigrant, she. Did not have insurance, nor. Was she eligible, for government assistance. For. Her the, mounting cost of a drive-by shooting will, never be resolved. For. Anything it's just piling. Up that's. The worst part is like literally. The. Realization, in my own mind that I'm. Not even going to try, because. I, didn't. Cause this on myself, it's really hard to get your mind around something that you. Have to pay for something, that's.
Somebody Else calls on you you, know it's it's really hard, Karina. Spent a month and a half at Craig Hospital. She. Says her rehab was helpful, but, wishes it could have been longer. I. Struggle. Along with my healing process just, because you're, constantly living with the effects of, what. Changed your life a. 2017. Study at Johns Hopkins University, revealed. That people admitted to the hospital with gun, related injuries, faced, about, $100,000. In medical bills, and this, does not include the costs, of ongoing, long-term, care after. Patients, are released from the hospital. When. I was first injured protocol. Was here's, your wheelchair get in your wheelchair and here's all the medications, that you need to take and and that was just the process of how. You live, the spinal cord injury. When. I was 21. I got extremely, ill I was having, a lot of chronic pain I went to my physician they, put me on narcotics. Which was the, the. Next worst thing. Chanda. Had dropped 259, pounds and was bedridden she. Was put in the hospital with a feeding tube she sustained. On pain medication, and had very little quality, of life, it. Was at that lowest low that chanda's family members stepped in deciding. It was time to, take a new approach, the. Idea came. From chanda's, sister crystal, my. Sister who was a yoga instructor really. Drove, this conversation. With, myself and, my mom and, my, physician, and you. Know he just said well we have nothing to lose so let's. Try it. I. Started. Doing acupuncture. And massage and, chiropractic and. Physical. Therapy and all these really. Critical, things. You. Will remain intensive, and aware of my voice as, well as your surroundings. Chanda. Is also, beginning to use virtual, reality. VR. Applications. For medical use are still experimental. But. For Chanda the, trial is the tool that, helps her body with stress and pain management. It's. Beautiful, to know how amazing, the. Physical, body is. But. It's also really sad to know what. Occurs with it when it's paralyzed. And. When it's paralyzed, it needs external, support, in order to be very healthy. So. I can just right away like, show. How tight, the flexors, get from always being in a ninety degree position and. So. Feel the chin to have your hips want to. Lift, off the table, feel, it go down through, your. Knees. And. Then go all the way to. Your feet, let. The muscle, relax. And, drop, wide. Chanda. Started seeing results. She. Was gaining weight and was able to wean off of some of her medications. She. Thought maybe Medicaid. Could help pay for some of the treatments, that were keeping her healthier, and out, of the hospital, I called. Medicaid and I said, to them, can. You fund these integrative. Therapies, because these integrative. Therapies, are cost effective to. Me. And, my secondary, conditions of my spinal cord injury so I'm, not, not. Only using, Medicaid. Dollars to, go, to the emergency room and do all of these things that cost a lot of money I'm actually. Taking. Care of my body to the point where I'm not utilizing, those things. Right. Here your shoulder, this block. Feel, how that holds, the shoulder, back and then when I just traction. And then. You let let it stretch, wider, I. Am. Not, having to call 911 to, go to the emergency room to understand, why the, pain is so severe or having ongoing urinary, tract infections, it's like you, can have this laundry, list of like cost and expense, associated. To, not having. The tools that you need for your spinal cord injury. What, opposites, you're reaching with your left arm and your right foot towards. Me, I. Have. The character supported. Chanda, determined. To help others started. A non-profit and, eventually. The Chanda Center for health, helping. Those who are permanently, disabled, find new pathways, to mental, and physical strength, in. 2009. She led the movement in Colorado, for a House bill pilot. Program, offering. Medicaid, waivers, for alternative, treatments individuals. With disabilities, include spinal cord ms CP, spina. Bifida and brain injury, and it allows them to get access to, things, such as acupuncture. Massage, chiropractic. Adaptive. Exercise, yoga. Chanda. She helped me along with sponsoring. Me with getting, adaptive. Exercise, with getting acupuncture. Massage it. Was something. That I always. Thought that it was so. Far to reach and when, she came into my life I realized like. There's. So many more options, you. Know I've gotten to Ralphie and all the other stuff that goes along with and I could use that as. Since. My body I guess it's a feedback another feedback that's like this finger yeah, yeah and, it just goes on yeah that gets better.
Chanda. Center currently serves about 200, disabled, patients. Helping. Those like Karina and Stefan, get, the care they need outside. Of traditional medicine the. Physical. Part, it helps my neck like, blood flow and that helps my arms, not. For being so stiff when, it's cold outside, like it helps my body, field a lot more, loose and like I don't get, sick as much as often, like I would have been sick in a long time are. You having any neuropathy. In the left or is it pretty much mostly. On the right. Stefan, course all is an acupuncturist. Who has been treating Chanda and Stefan, since, he was shot at. The time I started working with him he was in a pretty good place mentally. Emotionally, but, we're still dealing with the trauma so, the other place you were saying just wasn't. Accepting, them yeah. Some. Of the other things that Stefan, was dealing with is, well. He still has very limited movement. He had absolutely no movement, in his upper extremities, and he is now able to, reposition. His arms, so. Just right on the inside I can show you once you get up and, you can see better yeah. So. Rather than trying to find the point if anyone you can just kind of work I'll, show you how that kind of massage in that area. Acupuncture. Uses, small needles to help stimulate the nerves. We. Use, certain points on the body to, help either manipulate. Organ. Function, pain. And. So we do this in the, traditional, Asian, concept it's called Chi it. Was hard to put on sway like the, my favorite hoodie I couldn't, put that on because, my body was like real stiff, but. I was just real depressed about like I can't wear certain. Clothes I want to wear. The. Acupuncture. Seemed to help Stefan and the. Range of motion in his upper body has, improved, my. Shoulders. Don't feel as tight like I could, wear like when I first started doing they're like a year later I could stop and sweaters. On and stuff like that it's not a stiff, so, yeah it helps a lot. The. Work currently, being done at the Chanda center for health is now, part of a study looking, at the long-term benefits. Of alternative treatments. Chanda. Hopes to show that, integrative, treatments help, decrease, hospitalizations. And the, need for medication. And long-term care. Over. Time without these therapies, someone. Who was paralyzed, would, start to lose movement, the. Hope is, to keep Stefan's, limbs from tightening, and shortening. Stephan, has, over, the years dealt, with a lot of tightness. Congestion, in his chest which, would, affect his breathing and so there's this feeling of a lot of heavy. Pressure. Congestion. And that's something that Stephan. Almost always responds, really well with, a little acupuncture. Candy. Tea for teller says, expanded, treatments, along with improved technology of, the past 20 years have.
Had A profound impact, on rehabilitation, at, Craig hospital and other. Similar, facilities, in. The personal training opportunities. We have a wide, variety of technologies, so we're really fortunate here, to have an underwater treadmill system, so, in with that the, entire floor is a treadmill belt and then the floor raises, and lowers to any height with. Just the push of a button so. We use the buoyancy of the water to help an individual, begin to move their extremities when. Even maybe they're very limited and have very little strength the, hope turfy Taylor says is that the changes and improvements, will have long-term positive. Effects on patients, eventually. That. Reduces, hospital, costs, and improves, lives. Technology. Improvements, alone have, had a drastic, impact I think, that's honestly the most exciting, situation. That we currently have in rehabilitation is, that you, know there's been an explosion, of rehab technology on, the market in the last 10 to 15 years. And, so. It's much easier for me now as a physical therapist, to, provide, more. Of these wellness, approaches, for somebody with this a significant. Disability because. I have technology. That can support their weight and can, allow me to get them up and moving and compensate. For some of their limitations, but still allow them to be in a very functional, and mobile, environment, in a much better way than I could 18 years ago. One. Popular, advancement, in rehabilitation, is the, use of the exoskeleton a. Very. High-tech robotic. Machine that helps individuals who can't use their legs stand. And move, their body we. All feel better when we're exercising our, bodies and when, we're moving and that's, even more important, I think after a catastrophic, injury, because they just don't have the same opportunity. On a daily. Basis, to get just basic, exercise, of walking, in. Much. Like life there's going to be distractions. The. Beauty of yoga is it gives you that opportunity to to, reset. Rejuvenate. Refocus. Adaptive. Technology, and holistic, wellness are now intersecting. Improving. Long-term, care and quality. Of life for people with paralysis. When. You're spending that much time every. Day in a manual or a power wheelchair your, muscles, aren't getting stretched out to the point that they should and you're not using them in the same way that you did prior to your injury. Adaptive. Yoga is really unique and that it allows patients didn, t work on breathing, and posture, and positioning and, really, allow them to be free of that wheelchair for a little while, turf, a tiller says there are obvious, physical benefits, but. There was also a psychological, impact.
When, I initially started out as a PTI, I was, seeing individuals, with spinal cord injury and my, focus was really about, teaching them how to compensate, for their injury getting, them in a wheelchair, that was fit appropriately for, them but now. We have, a better focus, or a bigger focus, on bringing. In more of a health and wellness and recovery based, approach as well. For. Stefan like, so many victims of gun violence his. Healing is multifaceted. He. Says with acupuncture. Massage, and, exercise, he. Feels the benefits all over I do. A. Lot, of arm exercises, like, I get on the floor like. You don't like the vibrating, playing for my shoulders, I'll, write the FES, bike for my legs. Perfect. Or there's good. It, just feels like the things. Are connected, things. Like are opening, up, the. Doors are like opening, up it's. Hard to explain it just feels good like magical. Those. Magical, moments or, what keeps Stefan going. Just. A lot of mental, and spiritual. And physical it's. All connected, together so you gotta put, it all together and like keep. Going for, it and just yeah just try, to be become, a better person and be positive for people, around you and for yourself too. For. Tom Mauser walking. In Daniels shoes helps, him move forward it. Helps him heal and helps, to keep Daniels, memory alive. You. Can't let this burn inside of you. Because. It'll eat away at you, you, have to say there's something better to reach for that, that. You are going to work to make sure that it doesn't happen to other people. For, Tom, forgiveness. Is part, of a long nonlinear. Healing, process, I. Cannot. Forgive, them for what they did I have forgiven them for being too very lost, and disturbed. Young people, who didn't didn't, know a way out of what, they were, going. Through in their heads I forgive. Them for that Tom. Hopes his activism, will, prevent other families from, having, to live through the same tragedy, I don't. Think Daniel would want me to be, so. Stuck. In grief that, I couldn't go on with my life. That's. Not what he would want that's, not what our kids, and our loved ones would ever want they. Want us to go on. The. Physical, toll of Karina's injuries make, her mental healing and forgiveness a daily, challenge. She, says it's hard to move on when your body reminds, you each day that, you will never be the same. Literally. One day you go to school and, you're. Going. To school nor one in the next day the. Next Monday you're, trying to like. Sit. Up straight. Karina. Has learned to drive she. Has a job that she loves and is. As self-sufficient, as, possible. I started. Working at the history, Colorado center, about four years ago and, I always like to tell people that that was my very first taxable. Job ever I was thought that I was gonna be really hard to try to find a job with, a disability, but. That. Building is super accessible. The. People are really kind about, you know when, I don't have. The accessibility, of something, they, will be there to help me with it. The. Mental and physical challenges, are intertwined, and can. Be extremely overwhelming, we. Had to give ramps, and roll. In shower even. Now there's still a lot of things that are not accessible in my house and I have to constantly be living with that. Frustration. Of lack of independence, but. I mean, it's life she, wheeled through downtown Denver streets alongside marchers. Demanding, change and gun control legislation this. Whole movement that has started I feel a part of it because I feel like I had been doing it for such a long time.
Like. Tom Mauser Karina's, healing path involves, activism. She. Can't change the impact of her injury but. She says she can use her voice to teach others. She, is now a permanent, resident, working towards US citizenship. Which. Would then make her eligible for, Medicaid. My, healing came from, me speaking, out and being an, advocate. To, a lot of the things that affected, me whether. There was healthcare immigration, gun, control. All. Those things I feel like definitely helped, me put myself out there and get my personal, healing. Getting. Shot and. I try to call my brother's name but I really can, get the words out because I think it. Just like paralyzed, me instantly. Could. You tell the jury about what you remember Stefan, did testify, against, his shooter and, he. Says he forgave his shooters actions, long, ago. At. First when I got shot I was mad but. When. You're mad you're not coming in progress. What's, the point of being mad at some that's. Not gonna help you out like I just. Gave, him so, there's. No hate. Feelings, or I don't think about it work I just, move on with my life and try to be positive or not, just for myself but for the people around me too because you, don't want to be toxic and you gotta try to move forward and be happy. For. Stefan what. Is certain is that healing has come from within. Halon. Is. Just a process of life. Le, means, growing. Like, growth, like, finding. Peace myself, peace self. Growth. Self-love, I love it yourself because loving. Yourself as a journey. It. Never stops you just keep finding. Ways to love. Yourself. One. Of the most heartwarming, parts. Of my job is that when you see somebody who first comes in and they. Don't want to make eye contact with other people they don't want to talk to anybody else who's in a wheelchair they, really, don't, want, to be where they are and so they really, disengage. From, social, interaction, and social communication. That's. One of the most impactful. A sign. That they're coming out of this and that they're going to be okay, is when they start talking to other people who've had injuries, and they, start working through some of these problems and, challenges with. A spinal cord injury that's. But. It's a philosophy that's really, really important to get back into our body again, yeah. Janda. Hidden likely was injured at such a young age and some. Of the issues she had to confront were, hard for her young self to understand, I, come. From a family of hunters. That, truly. You, know love, to hunt and are very responsible. Humans. With, guns, when they go hunting. After. Being. You know being in rehab I came, home and, of, course my family they. They. All still hunted, and that was interesting, for me to navigate as well because I was like wow, I'm sitting, here in a wheelchair paralyzed. From, a gun but yet how, do i navigate, that, emotion, that my. Family's still gonna pick up a gun and they're gonna go hunt. Sandalwood. Now. At 37. Chanda. Says the healing, forgiveness. And activism. Are a package deal, motivating. Her to keep moving forward. Chanda. Realized there, was one giant step remaining, in her healing journey. And. Then we're here. Janda, needed to see her childhood, friend Trevor, the, young man who fired the gun leaving. Her paralyzed. Excited. History. Of peeking through the window right. That's. Only natural to. Look. Back, and reflect upon, it it's, just. Probably. Never, just. Changing. Life really, happy. It's. Amazing well. But what you told me whether there's a day that goes by that you don't think no no, well I just think that's natural I mean. I. Mean. New York first contacted, him I was like well. I think she's forgiving you Trevor but you need to forgive yourself and he said you, never will. For. For me I think it's all about healing, do you know what I mean so from, the perspective of me. That's like I understand. Like that there are accidents, and, I, embraced. That fully and. Like. I have no, negative. Feelings towards Trevor whatsoever, which is I'm, so, so excited about like I like. I'm more I just always I just want to embrace him. I, went. To North Block to.
The Emergency. Room and. And. That was. Last. Time I actually, was in the same room as Chandan until. Today. Even. Now going. Back to that day is painful, for Trevor I. Remember. After it happened. The. And. Just you just knew someone right in. A. Moment nearly. Thirty years ago two. Young lives were, profoundly, changed, forever. This, probably without. A doubt the darkest. Point. In my life. So. You. Know I just I just made him I mean I made a bad mistake and that messed up, you're. Doing this way. Is. That scary. Nearly. Three decades have passed. Trevor. Still struggles, to talk about the pain and mental, anguish of what happened. You. Know. You. Go through you, go through life and you make mistakes. Being. Fix them you. Can fix it like make it play, it was you know you break women by and give me a window that's. Something I'll never be able fix and, that's been the hardest for me, personally. Dude. There's. There's, part of me I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself, I think. Forgive. I. Don't. Know if because. She's. Gonna, be in that wheelchair forever. For. Chanda true, forgiveness is, a key ingredient in healing, a lifetime, of wounds. So. When I reached. Out to Trevor I I. Wanted. To know that I forgave, him I want. You to know that I I, forgive. You because, I can't also imagine. What. It's done to you. Hi. You. Know, oh he's. Given a kiss. Once. I had forgiven, him, all. Those details and questions that I had weren't, really relevant anymore but. There was one that was still relevant and it, was whether he he. Thought about me and so. I just asked him I said you, know I know you haven't reached out to me and all those kinds of things and so. I just want to know do. You ever think about me and what what occurred. He. Was just really quiet and, he just said that I think about you everyday and that was enough, for me. Tom. Chanda, and others. Know, firsthand, that there is pain, hardship. Consequences. And often, times sadness, that comes from a new life and that. Healing the past and moving. Forward is not simple. What. Life does, go on. Twenty. Years after Columbine, the. Healing continues. In. Terms of the. Time and the resources in the capacity, of. Like. Healing. America. Regarding. The the. Conversation. In. The presence, of guns. There's. Gonna I mean it's gonna take a lot, of work a lot of work I think. That we should, have. Faith in who we are as. Humanity. And hope I don't. Want, us to ever give up on hope but I mean, there's so much damage that has been done. Medicare. Doesn't pay for physical therapies I, wish. It they did so I can go more often to, heal. More because that's part, of the, process. Of the, physical part of me Haley. Unfortunately. Most insurance, companies do not pay, for health and wellness benefits I, try. To remind myself that my insurance company, doesn't currently provide, me, the opportunity.
To Get, a personal, trainer and have that paid through insurance, because it is health and wellness and so, that's kind of the mindset. We. Are seeing that other state Medicaid, programs, are, absolutely picking. Up on the, trend that there. Is a different. Way of healing, it for those with physical disabilities. I, think. For folks with disabilities, they, need a healthier. Option. It. Feels amazing to know that the. Providers, we have around us are being able to. Impact. An individual's life, to let them live. Beyond, always. Having to worry about the, spinal cord injury and the things that come with it and. When they have a healthier, option they, are able to heal. On so many different layers. Because. They're not constantly just trying to physically. Stay, alive and, above always, being sick, if. We can be a small, piece of that like, that, is so significant. You.