I am Ronald Go from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. I am quadriplegic and here is my story.
In 2006, I was at the height of my teenage adventurous years. I was only 19 years old. I was contented and happy because I was young and free. I was already in 3rd year college taking up Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Though school was already demanding then, I still managed to figure out how to balance life. I love music, sports, and adventure. I once belonged in a band, and a sports team. I joined groups I was interested in.
I also developed this love for the outdoors most especially the love for speed. So I became an avid fan of motorbikes and cars. I tried everything I can because with my youth I thought I was invincible. I have to live my life, “YOLO” as they say. I never thought that my invincibility would expire in just a blink of an eye.
December 9, 2006— I lost my youth from the accident that redefined me and my purpose in life.
I was headed home from school that night, exhausted from balancing both my classes and work that week. Yet, I still used my motorcycle for a much better commute going home. I never anticipated the danger I was headed on.
I fell asleep and my motorcycle speeded through the dim, slippery bridge. Seconds later, I unconsciously dived my way down the hill which fractured my spinal cord, injured my c5, c6, and c7 vertebrae and caused my quadriplegia. I couldn’t move anything from my chest down. My hands were very weak and I couldn’t move my legs. I couldn’t stand. I lost my sensation and motor movement. I was helpless.
That time, I thought it was the end. I was incapable of everything. I was very dependent. I couldn’t even hold a glass of water or grip a spoon. Everything was with assistance from eating, bathing, changing, sitting, and all other things. I was at the mercy of the people around me. It was a struggle.
(And so I thought) I lost my life, my dreams and my future. I had no more reason to live life. I was very depressed and hopeless. I hid myself from the world because I never wanted them to see me in my helpless, deplorable state.
I developed the phobia of meeting people. I was scared that they would look at me in pity.
I spent the whole time being alone and isolated. I was depressed. I started to question everything with my life. What will happen now? Is there still a chance? What should I do? I even asked God why this had to happen to me. It was hard. I surrendered the internal battles that consumed me. Even if I ask all the questions in the world, it wouldn’t change my situation or even turn back time.
But after a few years of being alone, I came to realize the sweet in the bittersweet of my mishap. It was my chance to start anew with life.
I reconnected with my friends who stayed with me through thick and thin. Though many left me in my time of need, but many also stayed sincere and true. They became my source of inspiration. In my time of need, they were there for me. I am blessed with their presence in my life. They never let me down. They lifted me from the pit of hopelessness and sadness.
Since then, I started to look the other way. I had to…
Cherish every moment.
Get back to God.
Once again after a long time, I talked to God and asked for forgiveness in everything I’ve done. I surrendered myself to Him and accepted His will in me. It was when peace and happiness came in.
I focused on my physical well-being. I began to eat well, exercise daily, have a good sleep, and gain some strength. I also tried to be more independent.
When I began to see the silver lining of my plight, beautiful things started to happen. He gave me my beautiful and loving wife and blessed me with a handsome and brilliant son. I found the meaning of my life once again. They are my weakness, my strength and my source of inspiration.
God also gave me the opportunity to provide for my family through online jobs. Now, I could also do the things I thought I could not do again. Even in my condition, I could still drive and travel around. I am enjoying these simple pleasures of freedom.
I am happy and grateful with my life. I am continually thankful to God for sparing me that December 9 because He gave me the chance to experience a wonderful and meaningful life in Him.