When I was 17 I was hit head on by an under the influence driver (heroin) at 50 miles an hour. When the police arrive they actually found syringes in her backseat amongst the piles and piles of trash and clothing. That one bad decision on her part had such a huge impact on my life and forever changed it. I had 4 of my friends in the car at the time and I thank god that none of them were killed - not only did the seat belts save our lives but the impact was so hard the cars stopped dead in the road just a couple feet from an embankment, had I swerved to avoid her my car would have flipped into the embankment which was actually a retention pond at the bottom. I was told that I was lucky. My front seat passenger had a bruised lung and was trapped in the car and my 2 passengers in the back only suffered from broken noses and concussions from hitting their faces on my headrests. I was partially paralyzed for about 8 months and had to learn how to walk and write all over again. I was only a junior in high school and had to be taken out of high school to be home schooled. I wasn't allowed to be in school because I was a liability with the massive amount of medication I had to take. I had to stop playing soccer after 11 years. I helped my district to start a new program for students who suffer from traumatic accidents, losses or events resulting in their removal from school which was completely free to the student - your regular teachers came to your house which was great because it kind of still gave you this feeling of "normalcy" despite whatever was going on in your life at the time. This was 7 years ago. The last 7 years of my life have been so emotionally, mentally and physically awful for me it's a wonder that I haven't given up. Every day has been a struggle and it's making me fight that much harder. I sunk into a very deep dark depression constantly thinking "I've had to give up so much, why did this have to happen to me". I've suffered severe complications from medications, hospitalized two-three times a month, had every type of procedure and the response I always received was "you are young, there is nothing we can do, just be happy you still have your life".... No one understood how frustrating it was that NO ONE would help me, i was literally trapped in my own body. I just finally received a new form of minimally invasive laser back surgery to repair nerve damage and alleviate severe leg and lower back pain. I sustained a massive injury to my back that resulted in life long after-effects. I have herniations at L3,L4,L5 & S1, with a major disc protrusion on L4 causing severe nerve damage to my left leg, a schmorl's nodule, annular tear and a minor hairline fracture of S1, I also developed levoscoliosis and arthritis in the spine from these injuries . That are all still active problems, at the time of the accident I had sustained injury to my cervical spine too and suffered nerve damage to my right arm resulting in the inability to use my hand. I'm 23 and have been walking with a cane since I was 19. My medical bills are upwards of $250,000 (one procedure alone was $20,000), unfortunately the woman who hit me doesn't own anything, she is a 31 year old one living at home with her parents, uninsured and didn't collect state aid or have a job so there was no money for me. I was only 17...Since then I have been an advocate for my friends to not drive under the influence of anything, I even requested my doctors take me off of all narcotics or I will not drive because I dont want to risk harming myself or anyone else (legal or not, it's still under the influence). I didn't drive for quite awhile after my accident because I was so terrified and physically unable to.