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Elena – Spinal cord injury survivor

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Please click and drag the white arrows to see my underwater transformation.

Elena Tyurina

Spinal Cord Injury Survivor

My name is Elena Tyurina. I am 33 years old. I was born and grew up in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At age of 19, I moved to MN with my family.

Two years ago, I got spinal cord injury T-10 when I was in CA on my vacation. I’m a spinal cord injury survivor. My friend and I went on Lake Tahoe. Three days into vacation, I accidentally fell off the pier on wet sand and broke my spine instantly. I’m a scientist researcher at University of Minneapolis and also a fashion model at Iulia Barton, an inclusive fashion agency from Italy.

I have never done underwater photoshoot. I participated in other photography projects but this specific one gives me an opportunity to be a part of something special. Water and photography how amazing is that? It’s very unique project something you can’t see or be a part of everyday.

Before the photo shoot, I felt both nervous and excited. Nervous cause I knew I would have to be underwater for some time and excited because it’s once in a lifetime experience.

There were some difficulties because my legs were always floating, sometime turning underwater brought change in ear pressure but yet feeling was great, unique and definitely fulfilling

After the photo shoot, I was very tired but definitely feeling of accomplishment. It was also airy feeling especially the very next day. I think now looking at my pictures I can totally say that water does transform the outlook to your injury and abilities.

That night, I slept early and also slept like a stone :)))

I absolutely loved working with Erena. She gives you ideas, guides you through photoshoot and always encourages you, gives you good feedback too.

Water is me, it’s my elementary, it’s my power, relaxation and energy. Can’t live without water. Water is my passion, I love to swim…it’s just one of my favorite things in life. I used to swim a lot before my injury and I was a part of Olympic school in Russia for about 6 years. I swim after my accident too…it’s different type of swimming and requires different skills. Yet, when I am in water it feels like you have no injury at all…especially when I am in the ocean. I think water has its healing properties, a force that washes away all your worries. I also love photography and now I am a model at IuliaBarton. This project will combine two things that I absolutely love and enjoy…

I definitely recommend this to other survivors, it gives you confidence about yourself as well as unique experience.

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