Possible womxn 10/12 Emma – Paralyzed from the chest down

Where do I begin with this badass lady?  When I started the Impossible Boudoir Project I had two ladies in mind for it. I thought maybe if I can just get these two ladies to do it, I’ll really have something here. I reached out to Emma letting her know what I was doing; what my mission and hope for this project was and the type of womxn I wanted to feature. She loved it, every bit of it but politely declined preferring to have her photos private. I totally understood and went on my way with finding more womxn for this project. Months go by and as I was giving the project a little more time to make its way to people and womxn who had a story about their body to tell. A few months into the project I had found all of my ladies but was still looking for just one. At that very time I received a message from Emma saying that she had been following along with the project and felt inspired and empowered and inquired if I had any more spots left.

I think timing and everything happens for a reason. I love the fact that Emma was one of the first ladies I thought of for this project and is now one of the last ladies to be a part of it. Her story is an incredible one and she completely defines the very reason for why I started this project. Making the impossible possible. I am beyond honored to have her be a part of the IBP and even more flattered that she wanted to be a part of this.

I recently came to discover that I am in the business of love. What I stand for, what I represent, how I photograph, how I am with you all comes from love. I put all my love into this so you can see all the love within you. It’s my job to love on you, capture you and empower you to see the innate beauty within yourself. I believe everyone is beautiful and everyone has a body that is worthy to be seen. If your body is unconventional, different or not like most bodies, that is beauty. That technically makes you a rare beauty because you are not easy to come by. Love yourself, be kind to yourself, feel your beauty.

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 “The whole session just provides so much confidence. I think it’s such an empowering thing to be able to draw that out of people because everyone has got that confidence in them.” – Emma

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Growing up Emma was always a pretty confident person. She knew she was loved by her friends and family, was tall, gorgeous, had beautiful eyes and pretty brown hair. She had a very supportive father who would always tell her how beautiful she was. Life was easy, normal and pretty great for Emma. Love in her household, loved from friends, did well in school, was looking forward ahead to a bright future.

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When Emma was in high school she had a modeling agency contact her to see if she would be interested in modeling. She thought she would give it try, because why the heck not! Getting your photos taken is a lot of fun 🙂 The experience was less than good. Emma being already a slender, in shape 16 year-old was told that she would have needed to lose an inch off of each thigh to be considered. She took one look at them, said “nope” and walked right out. I love that she was inspired to walk away from that; from a potential future of people tracking your diet and weight for work. Her support system giving her all the confidence she needed in the world must have helped her realize that this wasn’t going to be a good route for her.

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“If you don’t fit into their numbers, then sorry.” – Emma

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Emma continued on through high school just being your normal average teenager. She got good grades, was active in school activities, had lots of friends and planned for college ahead. Then one year after graduating high school on April 1st 2012, Emma was in a terrible car accident with friends that changed her entire life. Thankfully, no one else in the car was severely injured, the only person who was badly injured was Emma. “I took it all.” -Emma She was in the passenger seat of her car when the accident happened and took the most impact on her side of the vehicle. She had broken her neck, was in the hospital for close to 4 months and was almost instantly paralyzed from the accident.

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After the accident happened, all she remembers was being conscious but not really knowing what was happening or going on. She remembers calling her parents and telling them what happened and having some soreness and not really being able to breath. Emma had asthma and she thought she was having an asthma attack but is now sure that she was more than likely going into respiratory failure from the accident and experiencing pain throughout her body that she couldn’t really feel at the time. Emma was then placed in an ambulance and all her other friends in the vehicle were all placed together in a separate ambulance.  They were over in Eastern Washington at the time and went to Kittitas Hospital.

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Emma had not one single scratch on her body from this accident. “I looked totally fine.” – Emma The doctor was worried that she might of had a spinal cord injury because she was showing no physical signs of injury.  She was then airlifted by a jet, because there was a storm over the mountains and a helicopter was unsafe. She went from Kittitas Hospital in Ellensburg to Harborview in Seattle in about 15 minutes. “There were a lot of ambulance rides.” – Emma She went from the ambulance to the hospital.  Then she went in an ambulance from the hospital to the local airport, was flown to Seattle where she got in another ambulance that took her to Harborview. “And that’s $15,000 right there!” – Kendra Emma laughed and said “yup, lots and lots of medical bills.” – Emma Thank you US Health Care system.

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Once she arrived, they instantly took her into surgery. Emma had multiple surgeries within the first couple days at the hospital and the doctors tried to stabilize her spine as much as they could.

“I was in the ICU for a month. Initially I was intubated because I could not breath and then once they tied to extubatne me I went into respiratory failure.”- Emma

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After going into respiratory failure they decided to give Emma a tracheotomy. A tracheotomy is a hole surgically created through the neck into the trachea to allow a breathing tube to feed through to help stabilize your breathing.

“I couldn’t talk for around 50-60 days once that was in.” -Emma

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So to update you here real quick to make sure we’re all on the same page, Emma here basically gets into a terrible accident, is sent off to the hospital, goes into respiratory failure, probably nearly dies and then wakes up not being able to speak at all for close to two months. Once she got the trach she was able to mouth words which was then her primary way of communicating while she still had to have it in.