Paralyzed by accident, this woman is reborn | Notice

She was born in September 1989, which makes her 30 calendar years, but it’s really the date of her rebirth that matters now.

Much of what Christa Cairus once ended by that point on June 27, 2010 – in the morning her then boyfriend’s Ducati motorcycle crashed at over 40 miles per hour in a fire truck parked along Route 66 near Albuquerque.

The impact should have killed her. Instead, he crushed Cairus’ spinal cord at the level of the C-5 vertebrae. Her dented head in the fire truck left Cairus an incomplete quadriplegic, unable to move her legs or hands, although she could still move her arms.

It’s tempting to describe Cairus as “confined to a wheelchair,” although little about the Goodyear resident suggests imprisonment.

Cairus lifts weights as we chat, working on his triceps and shoulders. His training will last two hours. Then she will pick up her three young children from daycare and spend the rest of Monday looking after them and her husband, Eric, a police officer from Phoenix.

It’s a clear day because Cairus, a special education teacher and Special Olympics coach, has a day off from her full-time concert at La Joya High School in Avondale. Tonight, she might find time to work on her second master’s degree, this one in special education.

Something Cairus won’t find time for? Pity.

“Obviously I have a disability, but I don’t see myself as a disability,” she explains. “I can basically do whatever I want. I just can’t do leg day with you at the gym. “

If a day in Cairus’ life seems exhausting, know that his whirlwind schedule is better than the life before the accident.

She recently published a memoir which details ancient Christa. Beautiful Survivor: Escaping statistics has little to do with his accident in adult chat.

Instead, he focuses on Cairus’ escape from an abusive relationship in which her boyfriend forced her to have sex with other men for money. It’s a name she rarely speaks now, except as a profanity.

The boyfriend escaped the motorcycle accident with a rash and a mutilated finger. Cairus escaped him at his Iowa home in 2012.

Two years later, Christa, then a single and paralyzed mother, met the Army soldier she would marry in November 2014. The two moved to Arizona in 2016.

Despite her paralysis, she had two children with Eric Cairus, although the pregnancies – like so many others she has had to contend with – were anything but easy. Cohen, her second child, arrived five weeks earlier amid preeclampsia and potentially fatal blood clots in Cairus’ legs.

“I don’t know how this pregnancy didn’t kill me,” she says. “Sitting in that position all the time was horrible. It’s like sitting here with a watermelon in your lap. I had these leg pains, blood clots, urinary tract infections.

Carter, her firstborn, will be 10 in March. Son Cohen is 4 years old. Cora, the couple’s daughter, will be two years old in a few weeks. Cairus is working on a second book. She dreams of becoming a motivational speaker and someday playing wheelchair basketball.

Between being a wife, mother, teacher, trainer, weightlifter and writer, she also found time to collect 13 tattoos.

Some are self-explanatory, like “I refuse to sink” inked on her right shoulder. She has her children’s footprints as a tribute and roller coasters to symbolize her life.

Then there is a quote from Proverbs 31:25:

“She is dressed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fearing the future.”

Laugh Christa Cairus does. It’s a happy noise and the soundtrack of his new life.

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