Two months ago right after the wreck, I laid in a bed to be told by a social worker I wasn't allowed to see my daughter and because Shannon and I were being admitted and because Elissiah was ok she would have to go into foster care. My heart dropped. I could hear my husband in the room next to me screaming. At first he didn't know who I or my daughter was. Then when he came too all he could scream hours later is where is my wife where is my wife and daughter. You could hear him crying. I was balling. I told the ER doctors I don't care how broken I am you are not sending my daughter to foster care and if you can wheel me into the room next door I can touch my husbands hand and let him know it will be ok. After 6 hours they let me touch his hand. 12 hours later I was able to see my beautiful baby girl for the first time since the wreck. Someone from Project Walk came to get her and take her to their house. She brought her into see me. I thought they weren't letting me see her because something happened to her. This is truly the scariest feeling in the world.
The Social Worker came back in and told me if my mom could not come down that they would have to send Elissiah to Foster Care. I said how is that possible. They told my mother the same thing. She hopped on the first flight knowing fully that she wasn't supposed to be traveling and was supposed to be preparing to have surgery to remove a mass.
As time passed they wanted to keep Shannon in the hospital and send me to rehab where neither of us would be able to see each other through out the day and on top of it the social workers wanted to put Elissiah back into Foster Care since my mom was going into surgery and my father had to work to support the households. Since three incomes where just taken away.
The reason why Shannon and i did not stay in Denver was for the sake of one little girl. She needed her mommy and daddy. The Drs wanted us to stay. We would of been separated and apart without help. It would of been different if one of us could of stayed with the other, but being alone in the hospital is miserable. We knew for our daughters sake our best option was to come home and start in house therapy, but more problems arose over the next few weeks due to the hospital wheelchair. They prevented me from continuing with home health and being able to get Shannon to his appointments. So my dad drove Shannon to the hospital every other day to check on his brain and me to my appointments and my mom to hers. And my brother helped out when he could having six boys though it is a little difficult. Friends dropped off food and parents from Elissiahs school drove her. We couldn't of done these last few months without all of you.
Shannon will not be able to return to work for quite sometime and I am still in the hospital wheelchair (I do have a friends wheelchair to go to store in, but can not sit in due to spasms and low back for very long) and unable to return to my full duties due to the damage that I did to my back, but we are alive and thankful. Most of all we are with out daughter. I don't regret making the decision we did. I would do it again for her.
The next few months will consist of pulling teeth and putting in implants for where they broke in the accident. They broke all the way to the jaw bone. Healing my back and starting therapy. I will stand again and I have faith that I will move again. Even though nothing yet has started.
Shannon will continue with brain therapy. Also have a tooth pulled. His wound in the back of his head is starting to heal. He said it is very sore though. He gets dizzy, still has double vision, so the eye dr prescribed prism glasses, his short term memory is off but I have faith in him.
Elissiah is flourishing in school, but is still having attachment issues and bad dreams from the accident, but it is getting better.
Please continue your prayers and thank you to all of you that have donated on here. Without an income and help from the insurance we couldn't of done it without you.
Merry Christmas everyone!!! We pray your holiday was a joyous one. Starla, Elissiah and I spent Christmas Eve at the hospital with 40 of the patients. I unfortunately started feeling really sick and had to go to the car and lay down after the first few due to the florescent lights. Then, Starla and a few others went off to finish delivering a few of the gifts left for the gifts of love program. We got Elissiah a doll house and Elsa doll for Christmas. So, Starla and I stayed up Christmas Eve and put the dollhouse together. I can honestly say, I have never framed, dried in a house and insulated it in under an hour lol. We wanted Elissiah to have a little more fun then just the doll house and Elsa. So we took down her china tea set from her birthday and set up a tea party with all of her favorite doll friends. At 5 am we had a tea party. Watched her open her present and play with her new doll house. Later that evening we went to Grandma and Papa Hilliard's house. It is an incredible feeling spending Christmas with family and friends and celebrating our lords birth. It took it out of us so we spent most of today sleeping all three of us and healing. I pray Starla and I heal soon. We are thankful for all of your prayers and support.
Tonight, we had Elissiahs school Christmas program. We felt so blessed to be able to see her perform. It took it out of Shannon and I though. The poor guy got so dizzy from all the lights, but it was worth it to see our angel. He had an appointment on Monday for his brain and he failed the memory and balance tests, but we hhave faith that the lord will bring him through this. Elissiah is still waking with night terrors but even though it is hard at night to get up it makes me treasure her snuggles that much more. As for me. Still no movement but I have these horrible pressure ulcers the reason I tell you this. Even though it is bad I can feel the pain which is a good thing. Lord willing maybe movement and feeling will start to come back. The Drs are not sure if it ever will. But I will never loose faith. The Lord works in mysterious ways and I know through this tragic event that there will be a rainbow after the storm. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Merry Christmas everyone. Have an amazing week.
Shannon and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary tonight. Thanks to amazing family and friends for making it possible. Shannon was heart broken that he couldn't drive to take me somewhere. So a few friends, family and I surprised him here at the house. But to be honest the best part was him remembering it was our anniversary. That is a huge breakthrough. We are so blessed to be alive and so blessed to have so many people helping us through prayers, love and support.
Below you will see my dad walking me down the aisle. Shannon and I were working at Project Walk to Walking on my own so next year on our 5th Wedding anniversary we could renew our vows and my daddy could really walk me down. This accident may have set us back, but I am going to keep working towards it. :)
Tomorrow, is our 4 year wedding anniversary. We are so blessed to be alive and spending it together. As for an update on our health. I hate to say it but things have gotten a little worse. I have sores due to not being in a w/c that fits me and due to the new paralysis. Poor Shannon still has double vision, cant stand for long without a cane. Poor Elissiah is still waking with night terrors. She also doesnt understand why normally we spend half the week with Nana and Papa why she hasnt seen Grandma since her mass has been removed, but she gets to see her today. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you to the Cayuse Prairie 8th graders for all your kind words. I really enjoyed my time with you before the accident. Thank you to Corental in Kalispell for your generous donation and to the Trimborns and the Kinseys. We are so blessed by all of your love and prayers.
Tonight, for the first time in 6 years I cried about being paralyzed. I have always accepted myself in the chair. I was the glue that held the positivity in my family when others where crying, but tonight it hit me and I know there is a reason for it. I just don't know what my purpose is for me to be paralyzed twice in 6 years. Don't get me wrong I am so grateful that we are all alive. I just know now that I can't take anything for granted. I will always cherish that brief moment that the lord gave me to feel and move my legs again. If the lord chooses to present movement and feeling again I will never ever take it for granted. It was amazing to be able to feel my daughter sit on my lap and hug my legs, to feel the shower, the heat ect... It is funny to think what brought this on is a friend who is in a chair to asking, "Is it harder the second time, since you were so close to walking?" Why yes it's a million times harder but I know and have faith I will be back up again. Thank you to my lord, family, and friends for being here through this storm. I know this to shall pass. I need to thank Shannon for being my rock even though he probably won't remember this tomorrow. And thank you for being married to me for 4 years on 12/10.
This picture was taken by Cherise Cardin while it was almost pitch black and she was visiting with her boys. the reason why I post this. This night is the first time I realized I could feel Elissiah sitting there.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support. There are so many of you praying and some of you stopping by bringing, food, picking up our daughter for school and helping us in other ways. Whether its the foundation or in our personal life. We want you all to know how truly grateful we are for every single one of you.
Thank you to all of you that have helped us over the last few weeks whether it has been a prayer, bringing us dinner, taking Elissiah to school or helping us financially. It all means more than you know. A few days ago I was praying how we were going to make ends meet with Shannon not working right now and we just used our savings to go to Project Walk and buy gear for the foundation the night before the accident. We were told he may never be able to work again if his memory doesn't come back. Right now he can not remember the day before or if he takes a nap what he did before the nap. Thank the lord he remembers who Elissiah, Haileigh and I are. At least it is not quite as bad a 50 First Dates. If you tell him something please don't hold it against him if he doesn't remember it tomorrow. This is really hard on him and he is getting frustrated that he can not remember. When he first came to in the truck he didn't even know who I was. I was pinned in the truck and I asked a bystander if I could use their phone to call my parents because Shannon was still unconcious and his head was bleeding uncontrollably from where the wheelchair hit it. So I called my mom because I knew I wouldn't get to talk to her again until they got us all in a stable condition. When Shannon came too he said WHo the he** are you, to me and who is that crying in the back seat. I just started bawling and told my mom he doesn't remember me. About five minutes later he goes Starla where are are we what happened. Did I wreck your dad's new truck. Was it my fault? I quickly reassured him that it wasn't his fault and that my parent's will not be worried about their truck the only thing they will care about is us. The officer on scene asked Shannon where we where he thought he was and he goes Cleveland, Ohio. You have to get my wife to her pageant. LOL. He didn't realize we were in Denver for Project Walk. For the next few hours in the hospital he was convinced we were in Cleveland. I could hear him in the room next to me screaming where are my babies where are my babies. They brought me in and let me hold his hand for a brief second. It wouldn't be until almost two days later when I would see him again. The social worker told us and called my mom and said they were going to put Elissiah in Foster Care if we didn't have family there. So my mother immediately jumped on a plane and Project Walk came and got her for the evening. My mom did convince the hospital to admit her for the night if someone couldn't come get her, but bless the lord Cristin the manager of Project Walk Denver came and got her.
The next few day's came lots of tests. Shannon got prematurely released then a few hours ended up right back in the hospital because his injuries where far worse then what anyone suspected.
I found out that I was paralyzed again that I had lost all movement and feeling that I had been working on for six years to regain. The day before the accident I was standing and moving my legs. It is amazing how anything can change in an instant. Denver wanted to put me in their acute care facility, but my mom had to return home for her surgery to remove a mass. She techincally shouldn't of been down their with how much pain she was in. They told us again if I didn't have someone for Elissiah she would have to go into foster care. So Shannon and I chose to be transported back to Montana. They wanted to put me in rehab at hospital here but I had Elissiah and Shannon. So I chose to stay at home. We are currently trying to get rehab, a new wheelchair and a vehicle that I can drive all of us around in when I am cleared. I have been holding unto my single cab truck tightly because my girlfriend had it painted during my first accident with the hit and run driver and she passed away from a motor vehicle accident the week I was released from the hospital six years ago, but it looks like it is time to sell it and get something like an MV1 or adaptive truck big enough to haul my family around.
I never imagined that this account would stay open but when I saw that someone started to donate a few days ago I realized it was still open and that some of you started donating again. It means more to us then you know and I promise when I can I will pay it forward through the Moving Forward Foundation or another source that needs it at the time.
This campaign was started almost two years ago and you guy helped Starla go to therapy and we didn't imagine that we would have to keep it going. In the last few days a few of you donated money and the Barnes are eternally grateful. They know how hard it is during this Christmas season. If you would like to donate to the foundation and not to the Barnes just leave a note on your donation that it is for the Moving Forward Foundation.
Due to Shannon's double vision and short term memory loss, Shannon and Starla will be looking for a new adaptive vehicle for Starla to drive until Shannon is cleared to drive again. Starla will also be looking for a new wheelchair. She is currently borrowing an ultra light from a friend. It doesn't quite fit her correctly but she feels blessed to not be stuck in the bed. They are currently trying to work with the insurance of the gentleman that hit them and praying that their will be enough to cover the hospital bills and projected medical,. Shannon and Starla know the lord will pull them through and they will work on their long term plan together. Starla wants to go back to Project Walk as soon as it is feasible she came so far in this last year, because of all of you you made it possible for her to get alternative forms of therapy that helped her stand and move her legs. She was standing on her own and moving her legs the day before the accident then on November 9th, she lost it all again. They want you all to know how truly blessed they are to be alive and for all of your support. Shannon was the main support for the Moving Forward Foundation too before the accident so they will be doing fundraisers to help the foundation too. If you would like to volunteer and help the foundation you can check out neverstoprocking.com or facebook.com/neverstoprockingjustbecauseyouroll
http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_f14e8dc8-6cf4-11e3-83d7-001a4bcf887a.html Starla Hilliard-Barnes was paralyzed in a hit and run motorcycle accident on June 23, 2009. She is a wife and a mother to a beautiful little girl. Unfortunately, the driver, who ran a red light, has never never been identified, leaving her and her family with 1.7 million in hospital bills even with medical insurance. After paying what they could they still owe $160,000.00. At the age of 21, she ...laid in the hospital paralyzed in a drug induced coma. She is a T4 incomplete paraplegic. She broke everything from T2 to T8 in her back and is completely missing T4. She also broke all her ribs, scapula, clavical and eye orbital (where now she has a plate) and punctured both lungs. She was airlifted from Kalispell, MT to Seattle WA. In Seattle they did multiple surgeries and then she went on to rehab. Unfortunately she was unable to finish rehab in Seattle because of the condition she was in. They wanted to put her in a long term care facility. Her mother refused and brought her the 9 hours back home. Her family and her did therapy on their own and got her independent again. As soon as Starla was able she returned back to work as an insurance producer. She didn't want to go on disability. She has always been and independent person and always wanted to help others. Even to this day, as she struggles to pay her medical debt and get the medical equipment she needs, she still offers a helping hand to others. Starla wants to be a role model for anyone in her situation and for others, as well. She wants to let the world know that you can do anything that you put your mind to and that we have so much to live for. That is why her husband and her opened Moving Forward Adaptive Sports, a volunteer ran program that enhances the lives of the differently able, veterans and those who have been through a tragic events. (neverstoprocking.com and facebook.com/neverstoprockingjustbecauseyouroll). She was Ms. Wheelchair MT 2014 and is the current Ambassador for Project Walk Denver. Infact while in Denver Starla was paralyzed for the second time by a driver who rear ended them doing 70 MPH. Starla's wheelchair flew through the back of the truck window hitting her husband Shannon in the head leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and Starla lost all the movement and feeling that she has worked hard to regain in the last 6 years. Thank the lord their daughter Elissiah was ok. The officers said that if they would of been in a car they would likely not be with us today. We are blessed to have them. Starla is starting over from square one learning how to be a paraplegic all over again. She lost all the movement she gained and feeling in this second accident and Shannon has double vision, is having trouble with his short term memory, trouble standing without getting dizzy and depth perception.
With enough prayer and positive thinking, these things will be achieved! With this site, Starla is asking for your prayers as they are more powerful than you know. If you don't want to leave a donation here you do have an oppurtunity to send a donation to Stand up for Starla c/o Matt Downing State Farm, 445 Main St., Kalispell, MT 59901. Here are some other great articles about Starla!