Thankfully, though, chance was on Alfonso’s side, and she’s expected to make a full recovery.
Doctors told her she was incredibly lucky to survive the accident, which caused a break in her upper neck called a “hangman’s break.” After seven-and-a-half hours of surgery, Alfonso’s surgeon told her she was “a walking miracle.”
Her doctors believe she survived the injury partly due to her regular yoga practice, which strengthened her neck muscles. At the time of the impact, Alfonso had also reached back to grab her dog, Frankie, and the resulting position she was in may have prevented more serious injury or death, she says.
“I had one hand on the wheel, and between yoga and saving [Frankie’s] life, it saved my life,” Alfonso says. “Most people don’t survive that break.”
Even more, Alfonso was up and walking the day after surgery, and was allowed to return home five days later.
“I’m very lucky with this injury because most people are paralyzed and can’t walk, but I can move my extremities and am up and moving,” she says. “I’ll be in a neck brace for three months, and it’ll take about a year to fully recover, but I’m very lucky.”
Alfonso has been an independently contracted delivery driver for the Inlander for two-and-a-half years, taking on weekly routes throughout North Idaho and the Palouse. Our circulation manager Frank DeCaro considers Alfonso one of the team’s all-stars, but Alfonso doesn’t plan to return to the role. It’s been a side gig to her full-time job as an advisor at a young adult transition program in Coeur d’Alene called Northwest College Support.
She’s been told by supervisors there that her job is waiting for her when she’s able to return, but in the meantime, she’s racking up medical expenses (even with health insurance) and regular living expenses. For that reason, a close friend created a GoFundMe account for Alfonso, hoping to raise $20,000 to help with those expenses until she can return to work, and so that she can eventually purchase a new car.
“One thing I’ve been telling people is the gift in this whole thing,” Alfonso says. “You never know what each day is going to hold, and the fact that I got so lucky in such a terrible thing. The way it’s brought people in my life together, and strangers I’ve encountered, is this second gift and a whole new outlook.”
Article Source: Inlander