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I've never paid much attention to people in wheelchairs or asked about how they were first paralyzed. I found those incidents insignificant and felt that each of them had been involved in collisions due to reckless driving. To me, being involved in a car accident was like a fantasy, and I never felt it could happen to me until I got involved. The crash has changed my life a great deal and given me a chance to understand every human being in this world. I was traveling to meet a friend at the airport when I got involved in a terrible road accident involving my personal car and a pickup. I had driven this car for 3 years and had never been involved in a car crash. Thus, getting involved in an accident never crossed my mind at any time. It was a head on collision and the impact had a great damage on the vehicles and severe injuries on the occupants. I had never imagined that I could get involved in such a terrible accident since I considered myself an experienced driver. I was wrong.
That morning, a friend of mine called me and said that he was arriving at the airport in thirty minutes and wanted me to be the first to welcome him. I was happy to meet my friend although I felt some uneasiness. However, I could not understand my feelings and just thought it was because of the great excitement. I had a short time to prepare myself to avoid being rate and did everything very quickly.
I remembered our best moments together playing near our house when we were kids. For instance, one time we saw someone coming towards our house and we thought he was a thief. He was tall, slim, and wore a black suit. He did not appear very friendly to us and we concluded that he could be a thief but later realized that he was my dad's colleague at work. I thought to myself that such memories would make our day once I met Jim again.
Before leaving the house, I called him to confirm his arrival. 'Hello Jim' I greeted him over the phone. 'Hello Peter', how are you doing'? My friend Jim answered back. We chatted for a minute and promised to meet each other soon. However, this was not to be since an accident ruined all our plans.
I left my house at 9.30 am and drove towards the airport 10 kilometers away. We had agreed to meet at 10.am and I required hurrying up to avoid keeping him waiting for long after alighting from the plane. As I drove on the busy road, I kept on thinking about my encounter with this great friend and never concentrated on the wheel. I just drove carelessly since my mind was occupied with our past memories. I accelerated carelessly since what mattered was to reach the airport as soon as possible and never saw an oncoming pickup, which was overtaking a long truck. Within seconds, there was a round bang and all went silent. For 12 hours, I was in a coma at one of the hospitals near the airport with bandages on my legs and a neck cap. This was the worst moment of my life seeing myself so helpless once I woke up. My friend had learnt about the accident and came to the hospital to see me and give me some comfort. 'How can life change so suddenly? In the morning, I was walking on my two legs but now I cannot. I cried to my friend. 'Do not worry yourself so much, you will get well soon and walk again'. These words comforted me but I still knew that it would take a year for me to regain my strength.
This was my changing moment since I discovered the agony the people in wheelchairs go through. I needed to meet some of them to chat and give one another moral support. I learned that life can change suddenly and one needs to be prepared for any challenges. It is also a good idea to support those in problems and never imagine that it cannot happen. After the incident, I started looking at life in a different way and helping those suffering from physical disabilities through emotional and material support.
The society is made of various kinds of people facing different challenges. Some of them go through psychological trauma while others suffer physical illnesses that impair their ability to perform their duties. Some of these people are not considered relevant in the society for their disabilities but everyone needs to know that everybody has a right to live and enjoy life regardless of the health situation. My perception of people with disabilities changed after the accident and I now consider myself an advocate of human rights for people who are suffering. I take time to talk to them, support them financially, and help them in starting small businesses that enable them to live comfortable lives.
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