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Deb Young

Lawrence, KS

Entry Photo for Deb Young - Lawrence, KS

My journey began October 24, 2013, when I was hit head-on by a car going the wrong way on a divided highway. I was taken by helicopter to a trauma center in Joplin, MO, where I was given no chance to live; however, I was determined not to let this accident take my life. Within a week, I was transferred to KU Med Center where my husband was told that to save my life, both my legs and my left arm needed to be amputated. Even after the amputation surgery, I was still fighting for my life with pneumonia, multiple infections, and surgery every day for weeks. I became weaker and weaker. I was being fed intravenously. My eyes were the only things I could move. When I finally learned about the amputations, I realized that life was going to be very different from now on.
In December, I was flown to a rehabilitation hospital in Denver, CO. They were surprised I was so weak, unable to eat solid food and couldn’t do much for myself. Learning that my right arm and hand were possibly not working was also very disappointing, especially since I am right-handed. Since then, I have started having pain in my fingers, which is good. I want to eventually get full use of my right arm and hand. I have been fitted with prosthetics for my legs and arm and am working extremely hard to learn to use them. I have come a long way, yet I still have a long way to go.
In working to master walking on my own and using both arms, one of the strongest motivators to accept this new life and get back home to Lawrence, KS, in April has been the support of my family and friends who have prayed for my recovery during this ordeal.
During many years of teaching emotionally disturbed and special education children, I’ve served in multiple school districts as a teacher, principal, and regional director for Greenbush Schools. As regional director, I was responsible for multiple facilities and alternative high schools that serve students with emotional disorders or special needs students. I truly miss my work and want to return to serving my students in Kansas. Today, I’m continuing to fight to overcome the obstacles in my own life but, I also want to continue my fight for my special kids as well.