Submitted by Jessie Mackenburg
On February 1st, Cheryl Orr was headed home to greet her 6 year old daughter after a long day at school, collect the eggs from her flock of chickens, stoke the fire in her woodstove and after everybody was tucked in, she would begin on her homework. Instead, Cheryl was struck head on by a car whose driver lost control during a rare ice storm.
Cheryl was trapped inside her car for nearly 3 hours as paramedics and fire fighters struggled to free her from her totalled car. Finally, they were able to liberate her by cutting the top off of the car and literally prying her legs out from the wreakage. That she survived was nothing less than a miracle. Ask Cheryl’s “angel” Kelly Mills, who stayed and prayed with her; keeping her awake until the paramedics arrived and began supportive car. Cheryl woke in the hospital to find that nearly all her ribs on both sides were broken, her sternum was broken, a vertebrae in her neck was broken and both of her legs from her knees to her feet were crushed. Her life would never be the same.
Cheryl’s dream of owning an operating a sustainable farm has been in the making for many years. During her 21 year career in the Navy, she would pay attention to farming practices and markets wherever she was stationed. She began dreaming and planning for a farm of her own. Cheryl wanted to change her life and career to something that supported sustainable agriculture, a healthy lifestyle and would benefit her local community. In 2009, she bought her dream property and began building her farm by hand. She enrolled in the Soil and Crops Department at CSU minoring in Organic Agriculture, developed a business plan and was planning on graduating this May and officially starting her farm this summer.
Cheryl is strong, intelligent, tenacious, independent and grateful to be alive. Her new goals are to relearn how to walk, to find a way to pay her hospital bills, continue to make ends meet and to be able to keep her farm so that once she is healed she can jump back into her dream where she was unexpectedly knocked off course.
The financial burden of the accident is weighing heavily on Cheryl when she should be focused on healing and caring for her 6 year old daughter. As a full-time student, scholarships and her military benefits helped to cover tuition as well as cost of living expenses. Cheryl had to withdraw from the university after the accident and has lost those benefits. She is unable to walk, drive or work at this time and has already reached limits on what insurance is willing to pay for her medical expenses. Unfortunately, the other driver was underinsured and Cheryl is now left with the financial burden of her medical care.
Her medical expenses are already beyond what she can afford and she has only just began her rehabilitation. It will be many months before she will begin to learn to walk again. Financial support is important immediately for her day to day living expenses and her initial treatment and surgeries and over the long run for care and rehabilitation.
Without your help, Cheryl’s future healing and recovery will be very difficult. Please CLICK HERE to help and together we can make this happen-$150,000.
Coloradoan Article about Accident found here
Photos below: X-rays, Family Farm, Cheryl and Lily