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Future doctor is beating the odds after ski accident

Posted at 9:41 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 13:04:11-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Sometimes the biggest life lessons cannot be taught in a classroom or through a textbook. It comes from an experience that further connects us to a greater calling and leads us on a path toward a life of helping others.

Life can also change in an instant, especially when it hits close to home. That one moment cannot only change how we live day to day, but also give us a greater sense of empathy.

Hailey Naugle is a medical student at the University of Michigan with a concentration in psychology and neuorscience.

But it was a January skiing trip that sealed the deal that she was on the right career path. She decided to go skiing for the first time. It was in a brief second she went from future doctor to patient when she fell and slid into a tree, changing the coarse of her life, at least in the short term.

She says she didn't feel discomfort or pain and thought she could just brush it off. It was then she realized she couldn't move her arm or legs. It was a ski accident that left her temporarily paralyzed. Hailey had to relearn how to do things she once never thought twice about -- like walking.

After more than 30 days of recovery and time spent at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Hailey is beating the odds with optimism and even deeper desire to help others in similar situations.

We all falter from time to time, but it's in those difficult moments we learn how move forward stronger than ever before. It just takes time.

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