I like bad ass women. You probably know this if you’ve read any of my blogs. These women come in all shapes, ages and professions. I don’t seek them out but sometimes one hits me over the head with their bravery, tenacity or grace… like this one did.
This is the first interview in which I plan to do a series of women who inspire me. This piece is about a 25 year old woman, Sinea who I met through one of my good friends. When I first met her a few months ago, there was something about her, some sparkle and intelligence which prompted me to act like an old lady and say “Oh sweetheart, I wish I had it together like you when I was your age.” When you start calling people “sweetheart” and using phrases like “when I was your age”, well, it’s time to throw in the towel and just own the fact that you are now THAT girl.
Shortly after we met. my friend (who is a family friend of Sinea) informed me that on Saturday May 23rd Sinea had been in a horrible car accident in Mexico and was at UCLA hospital with multiple injuries. The driver was in a coma with a 50/50 chance of survival. My heart sank.
After 3 weeks in the hospital, Sinea was ready to come home and her family was unable to provide a place for her to stay. So my friend opened up her home to Sinea and that was where I saw her again…. on the couch. Not able to walk or go to the bathroom, but with that same sparkle she had when we had first met before the accident. The word that comes to mind is GRACE. She is full of it- this girl. I was compelled to ask her some questions.
K: Ok- so let’s start with what happened.
S: It was a last minute memorial day trip to go to Ensanada Mexico. My friend Dara’s boyfriend had this place in Mexico, his grandfather’s place and a bunch of people were supposed to come and bailed at the last minute. I wanted to get out of town because my ex-boyfriend kept harassing me and like… showing up to my house. And I was still in love with him so I needed to get away so that I could make a clear decision. Dara was like, “Come with us. It’ll be good for you to get away”, and I agreed. We could eat some good food and go ride ATV’s or whatever.
K: Yeah that makes sense.
S: Totally. So I get to Dara’s house at 8:30 in the morning. I’m always on time because my Dad made me late to everything when I was little and Dara wasn’t ready yet. She took two hours to pack, so by the time her boyfriend Aaron got there and we picked up his friend Dylan, it was already 12:30 when we headed out of town.
K: So it was you Dara, her boyfriend Aaron and his friend Dylan.
S: Yes, Aaron was driving. I don’t know what route he chose but we ended up by my mom’s house, which is in Chino Hills and it was just like this little sign to me, like maybe I needed to go home. I don’t know… I got a weird feeling.
K: Did you say anything to them about maybe turning around?
S: No, I ignored it. Dylan and I started sipping tequila in the backseat and I chilled out a little bit.
K: Did Aaron and Dara know you guys were drinking?
S: No. We were being low key and had about 2 shots each at the most. Anyway, we got pulled over as soon as we crossed the border.
K: For what?
S: I didn’t know at first. Dylan and I were panicking because we knew there was an open bottle of tequila in the backseat. But apparently Dara’s tags were expired (it was Dara’s car.) I didn’t really understand because they were speaking in Spanish but Aaron speaks fluently and he was talking to the cop. They let us go. I said that we should turn around because I didn’t want to be in Mexico with expired tags but we were already in so we brushed it off and went to the lobster place. I had lost my appetite, everything was going wrong that day so I just got a quesadilla and barely ate. When we left Aaron and Dara were fighting about who was going to drive. Aaron only had one shot and Dara had been drinking. She’s a small girl and she had a margarita so I thought Aaron should drive. So we all got in the car and the last thing I remember was reaching over for my seat belt and I woke up in the hospital at UCLA.
K: When did they tell you what your injuries were and who told you?
S: I don’t even remember that moment to be honest. I don’t think it sunk in. I may have been in shock. But then I started to comprehend when they told me that they had to do a second surgery on my left hip. They had already done the surgery on my right hip.
K: So you were pretty drugged up then?
S: Yeah and then my Dad told me that he drove me from Tijuana straight to UCLA and I didn’t remember any of that at all. I guess they paid some guy $20 to inject me with something to knock me out on the way to LA. And then that clicked later on when I was going down for my second surgery… one of the anestesiologists asked me if I was doing heroin. So maybe that’s what they gave me for the car ride. I don’t know…
K: What did you do when you found out what had happened?
S: Well, at first I asked the nurse, is everyone alive? Aaron was in a coma in a San Diego hospital with a 50/50 chance of living. Dara had a broken jaw and Dylan had a spinal injury. They were all alive.
K: What do you know about the accident?
S: I was told that Aaron was speeding and looked down for a second to his phone and slammed into a propane truck.
K: What are your injuries?
S: I broke both of my hips and I have nerve damage in my right foot from the surgery. I can’t bend or curl my toes or anything.
K: What happened with your head? I see you have a Harry Potter scar but what actually cut you?
S: I was wearing sunglasses so I think they cracked my face or something. (giggles) And I had a really bad concussion.
K: So what are we looking at now as far as recovery?
S: August 5th I get a walker, so it will be the first time I get to stand and I’m really excited about that.
K: So you haven’t walked at all this whole time?
S: I’ve been in bed for 2 months or in a wheelchair.
K: Before this have you ever had any physical trauma?
S: I’ve never broken a bone in my body.
K: So what is that like for you?
S: For me it was really hard at first. The first month I cried every day. Because I moved out when I was 17 and I’ve always been independent. I was always the adult in my household. And then for the first time in my life I actually needed… (cries) help. I mean, my parents did the best they could but it really wasn’t enough. And even now I still have to rely on other people and I hate it. It’s humiliating. People have to take out my shit, I have to shit in a pan… I mean. I can’t even go into the bathroom.
K: When I was over here a few weeks ago. I was so impressed with you and who you are. You’re obviously very intelligent and have a great spirit. You seem to be dealing with this in the best way you can. You don’t seem angry to me…
S: I’m not angry at all.
K: Exactly and you have every right to be.
S: Honestly the old me would have been angry. Mad at Aaron and the whole thing. It’s even surprising to me that I have no animosity toward him at all.
K: Why do you think that is?
S: I just know in my heart that it was an accident. He wouldn’t want to do this to any of us. This situation has really been humbling (cries) and just really reaffirmed my spirituality that this shit really had to happen to make me stop running from my problems and really face myself for the first time in my life.
( We are both crying now)
K: How old are you?
S: 25. I just turned 25 yesterday. And I’m finally learning how to love myself. I never knew how to love myself until now. I’ve always been too busy taking care of my Dad or just running from myself.
K: Right. Other people’s stuff.
S: So when you have to be in bed for 3 months you have nothing BUT yourself and time to work on that. Even though it’s a shitty situation it’s really a blessing in disguise and I needed this. I have faith that things happen for a reason and I’m part of something bigger than myself.
K: I respect that way that you are looking at your situation because there are many other ways you could be looking at it.
S: Yes… But they are just a waste of time.
Currently, Sinea is navigating the insurance game and waiting on a referral in order to get the physical therapy she needs. She is humbly asking for help to pay rent and literally get her back on her feet. If you are inspired by Sinea’s courage like I am, please check out her gofundme page: http://www.gofundme.com/xz8p9f7
Thank you for reading and hope to bring you more inspirational interviews very soon!