Committed to creating a positive change...
My name is Niki Antil. I was in a car accident when I was 19 years old. I broke my neck at the C5-6 level, which rendered me a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.
The accident changed my life forever taking away so many things that I took for granted.
It was April 5, 2003 when I decided to drive with a friend that had been drinking. I was young at the time and it has taken me a while to come to terms with my injury and all the challenges that I had to face. While living in Boston, I went to Spalding Rehabilitation Center for my initial injury. Afterwards for my outpatient treatment, I went on to Braintree Rehab Center. My insurance would no longer cover therapy at Braintree, so they recommended me to join the YMCA, which had a special program for people with disabilities. Working out at the YMCA became my getaway, and it was there that I learned about the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
So, in June of 2008, I enrolled in the Day Program at the Shepherd Center. The therapist worked with me on transfers, getting dressed, and driving again. By August, it was time to go home and I became stronger and much more independent. I wanted to stay at Shepherd, but again my insurance would no longer pay for therapy.
Before I left Shepherd I had the opportunity to meet Cindy Donald. We stayed in touch through e-mails and phone calls. After being back home for a while, I decided I wanted to move to Atlanta and continue my therapy. When I discussed this with Cindy she told me about her foundation and how they might be able to help. After checking out her website I filled out the application for financial assistance to get more therapy at the Shepherd Center that would help me to become even more independent.
I want to thank Cindy and everyone that has supported The Dreams of Recovery for helping me get the therapy that I longed for.