Thursday, September 3, 2009

Megan's Perspective

Last June, we were blessed that God put Megan Poole in our lives. Megan was Nicole's Personal Care Assistant for the summer. Our only concern in hiring her was her age: she was 18, just graduated from high school. But her personality and can-do attitude won out and we hired her. As it turned out, she was a true godsend.

Megan just started classes at the University of Southern Mississippi, and she had to write an essay for her English Comp. class. She shared the essay with Nicole, and now I'm going to share it with you, because I think that reading Megan's perspective is very interesting. Megan is wise beyond her years, and has more compassion than anyone I know. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did. Thanks.

Megan Poole
ENG 101

You Can’t Stop this Dancer

This past summer, I had the opportunity to assist and care for Nicole Marquez, a twenty-six year old lady who had her dreams in the palm of her hand, but in the midst of everything had to take a step back. Nicole was a dancer, graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi as a Theatre/Dance student. She moved to New York City a few years after graduating and getting her Bachelor’s to try to take a step further to the professional acting and dancing world of Broadway. One night, she was walking back to her apartment in Harlem and realized she had locked herself out. Being the adventurous, “I’m not afraid of anything” Nicole, she decided to take the fire escape stairs to climb into the window of her apartment to get in. As she approached the sixth floor, she lost her balance and fell six stories onto a bed of dirt. She lay there for eight hours before the tenant of her apartment complex found her, barely alive, gasping for air. She had broken her neck, her back in two places, her pelvis and had punctured a lung due to broken ribs. She coded three times and had a series of strokes. The doctor’s didn’t think she would live, much less ever walk again.
I started working with Nicole in June, not knowing what to expect. She is so full of life and is ready than ever to dance again. I would help her get dressed in the mornings and would assist her throughout the day walking, driving her to appointments, helping her with therapy equipment, and cutting up different foods for her. She now walks with a cane and is working on walking by herself without one at this point. It’s been a year and two days since her tragic accident, and she is ready for challenges she never knew she would have to face. Nicole works harder than anyone I’ve ever met before. She know what living life is like not being disabled, and having this bump in the road just makes her more determined than ever to make her dreams come true. I took her on a trip to Hattiesburg a few weekends before I left for school, and as she was walking from around the sink of the hotel bathroom, she began doing ballet warm ups. It put me to tears seeing how well she’s doing and I know she will be on that stage again one day.
From a stranger’s standpoint, Nicole looks physically disabled- crippled, with 5-inch scars on her neck and back. She gets stares and questions left and right, but little do they know that their looks and questions do not bother her. She knows where her place is in this world and is more than happy to let anyone know. Anyone who ever encounters or meets her falls in love with her witty charm and vibrant personality. She has taught me so much not only about the common love we both share of the stage, but teaching me about life, including patience, focus, and the word I keep using repeatedly, determination. I’ve learned to accept people of different nature’s more easy and have grown a heart for people in need. She is my definition of a hero. Her fierce spirit and loving heart inspires me to be a better person, especially knowing she can do the same in the position she has been put in. I can not imagine being twenty- six years old and having to depend on my parents for everything, or just about everything. I am so thankful for her being placed in my life, knowing I have helped her in ways most people could not have imagined an eighteen-year old girl doing. I suppose one can say both Nicole and I were underestimated.
Although we both barely stand five feet tall, our hearts are as big as lions and our goal as a team (which we liked to call ourselves) is to spread as much love of accepting as possible. I believe I made that happen for Nicole because my biggest fear was to let her down. Although I may have worked ten to twelve hour days, five days a week my whole summer, in the end I would not change in for anything. Knowing I was a part of her life and getting her to where she needs and wants to be means the world to me. You really can not stop that dancer, I have first hand witnessed it. Maybe it will make other people believe in miracles too.


  1. Amen, Megan. That was a beautiful essay about a beautiful person.

  2. Lovely. And a beautiful essay by a beautiful person. Thank you, Megan.

  3. Megan what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful young woman.