I’m Ronniel. I’m fondly called Ron by the people around me. I was part of the 14th batch of Virtualahan’s training program. I heard about the org from a close friend from work. He encouraged me to go through the screening and the training program because he knew I needed not just a job but a community that helps people like me to have a second chance at life.
I was born to a loving couple from Roxas City. My mother owns her own store while my dad has a buy and sell business. Their business ventures eventually became the voice behind my head why I took up Business Management in college.
But after I graduated, I diverted my business inclinations and decided to discover the world of employment.
I was employed in a private company and became their loan officer in various places within my province. The nature of my work required frequent travels from place to place which is why using a motorcycle was more convenient for me then.
One day in 2011, my co-worker and I were on our way to our next target place of collection. We were both riding my motorcycle but this time I was the back ride passenger. The rough road we were passing through had a series of unpredictable corners.
Unfortunately, we fell off the cliff. Both of us survived and had major injuries but tragically I had a worse blow.
We were brought to the hospital but since there were no available ambulance or rescue teams, we were transported in a tricycle which added to the injuries I already had.
The series of unfortunate events caused me my condition that I would bring for the rest of my life.
I have quadriplegia because my C4 and C5 vertebrae were damaged.
My spinal cord was not the only part of me that was damaged after the accident but as well as my dreams.
When I woke up the next day, I thought everything was just a nightmare. I tried moving my body and my feet but I could not.
I felt so helpless lying on my hospital bed not knowing what to do next or where to go. It felt like I was lying in an empty box paralyzed, weak and helpless.
I could not do anything but wait for a little drops of rain to pour on me and open my eyes that this is my reality now.
I would be reclined to my bed and my wheelchair in this lifetime.
The struggle to accept my misfortune was something beyond my understanding. Before, I was able to do things without limits and now I could not even lift a spoon!
The twist of faith was all too sudden.
I was not prepared for this.
I never saw this coming!
But what can I do? I can’t turn back time. This isn’t a movie that I can rewind and fast forward. This is my life! This is my present!
The acceptance to my condition wasn’t easy. My own thoughts scare the life of me especially with what’s to come that I do not have any hold off.
I’m scared of being left behind.
I’m scared of being alone.
I’m scared that I would drown in my own voice of hopelessness and no one is listening.
But I know that all these advancing thoughts should not frighten me because I have my God and He gives me strength!
He gave me my family and my girlfriend to help me go through this stage of my life. They give me every reason to overcome the fears and anxiety brought by my disability.
He continues to bring people into my life to uplift the burdens I carry. He gave me the opportunity to work again and meet other people.
Early this year, the Lord brought a new network of people who know my emotional and physical struggles. These are the persons with disabilities I trained with at Virtualahan. They share their conditions and their hurdles in life. I began to discern the answers to the “whys?” and “why nots?” I have asked myself for quite some time.
Virtualahan did not only advance my skills and help me with my job, it also gave me a new family I could share my life with.
With the people God brought into my life, hope grows in me every single day.
Spinal Cord Injury
Roxas City, Capiz