Richmond teen walks once again after severe spinal injury

Published: December 5, 2006  |  Source: nbc12.com
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A Richmond teenager injured in a diving accident over the summer is back home with her family tonight. Kelsey Harbert spent almost four months in an Atlanta Rehabilitation center, recovering from a Vertebrae and spinal cord injury.

“I don’t remember hitting anything, doing anything on the bottom of the pool. The next thing I remember is seeing my best friend’s foot. It was really fuzzy, though, and thinking ‘Why can’t I move? Why am I just laying here? Do something,’”says Kelsey.

To hear Kelsey Harbert talk about her accident, you can immediately sense the strength the teen holds deep inside. Doctors predicted, just four months back, that Kelsey would not walk again due to the severe spinal injury she sustained.

“I didn’t have any movement so it was easy to believe I was never going to walk again,” says Kelsey. But hope, courage, and a strong will gave this 17-year-old the will to beat the odds. “I knew that if I tried, once I started to get movement back, it just clicked in my brain ‘I’m gonna walk again, I’m gonna make myself walk again, because if I work hard enough, it’s gonna happen,’” she says.

Her mother, Cathy, documented Kelsey’s journey on video. Kelsey’s path is paved with fearlessness. Her family credits faith and Kelsey’s determination. “As a parent, you wish that your children have certain things within them,” says Cathy Harbert. “Kelsey has something that we were able to see in her. She has a deep strength that I didn’t know was there.”

With that faith to heal, Kelsey left rehab on Friday, walking on her own. “If you have a positive attitude, I think you can do anything,” says Kelsey. Kelsey hopes that telling her story will inspire other teens going through a rough time to search deep inside for a strength they may not have known they had.

From NBC12 News