On Thursday, January 31st, Amber Bruce’s life took a detour. Like any ordinary weekday morning, she got up for work and was preparing to take a shower. In an instant, she lost consciousness and fell, something that is not entirely uncommon. However, unlike most people who lose consciousness, Amber’s body was not able to collapse as freely. Due to a spinal fusion surgery she had when she was 15, all of the pressure from the fall went to her neck causing it to break at the C5/C6 level. Thanks to the quick response by Amber’s fiancé, and the EMT’s, Amber was rushed to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA. It was evident that Amber had sustained a spinal cord injury and was immediately rushed into emergency surgery. While Amber survived the surgery and had no brain damage, the trauma to her spinal cord resulted in immobility from the chest down- an incomplete C6 spinal cord injury. After an arduous six days in the ICU, Amber was admitted to The Shepherd Center, a premier Brain and Spinal Rehabilitation Institute located in Atlanta, GA. There, she began her rehabilitation process with two months of in-patient intensive therapy.
Prior to her accident, Amber was the most free-spirited person one could know. She has frequently boarded planes for last minute adventures to places such as Iceland and Portugal. A hard worker, with no limits, she was tasked with multiple assignments on the set of ESPN College GameDay and the NCAA Final Four. For Amber, life is an adventure and there are no limits to its possibilities.
Amber has remained astoundingly positive during this tragic time in her life. Amber is a strong and determined fighter, who will never give up the possibility of one day regaining the ability to live an ordinary life, and with enough rehabilitation, walk again.
Recently, Amber was released from The Shepherd Center In Patient Program. She now participates in day program rehabilitation and physical therapy program every week, in hopes of regaining mobility. Unfortunately, insurance only pays for ten days of outpatient therapy, where afterwards it will cost $550 per day for Amber to continue her fight. Modifications and equipment are needed in many aspects of her life. Amber is hesitant to ask for money as she does not want to impose or burden anyone, but undoubtedly, she needs help. She is 100% focused on her recovery, and we want to help her in every way possible to lessen her financial burdens, so she can focus on the task at hand. Many of our lives have been directly impacted and enhanced by Amber- it is our time to support her.
Where your money will go
Our goal is to raise $75,000 to help Amber with the following:
Out-Patient Physical Therapy: $550/day for 3 months ~$50,000
At Home Medical Assistance: $100/day for 6 months ~$20,000
Standard Wheel Chair: $5,000+
Electric Wheel Chair: $20,000+
ADA Accessible Home Upgrades
Additional Out-of-Pocket Expenses Incurred During Rehabilitation
More background on Amber
Amber is a beloved daughter, fiancé, sister, friend, and colleague – the several visitors per day while at The Shepherd Center are a testament to that. Given everything that’s happened to her, it would have been completely understandable for Amber to be bitter or angry -- instead, she has spent her days in rehabilitation and physical therapy becoming friends with staff, entertaining visitors, and looking forward to regaining her strength and mobility.
Thank you for reading Amber’s story. We appreciate any help or contribution, no matter how big or small! Please share our campaign link with your friends. We will keep you posted on the use of funds and her progress going forward.
- Ashley Kryshtalsky
- Katie Miller
- Zechariah Escala
- Garry & Elaine LaFavers
- Sherri Dumford
Organizer and beneficiary