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Spinal Cord Injury Survivor
My name is Samantha Lopez, I am 22 years old. I was born in Pomona, CA, but practically grew up in Upland, CA. My life changed five years ago at the age of 17, I fell three stories from my apartment bedroom window.
I want to be involved in Underwater Healing Project because the water was part of my healing element when I left rehab. I got into aqua therapy and realized that I could move my legs underwater when they’re held down by weights. Swimming is what came easiest to me after my injury. I was able to swim like I used to, I was able to do flips and laps underwater like nothing had really changed. I love that it’s one thing I could do without my chair because I don’t need it in the water like I do on land. It gives me more of a sense of independence and form of freedom.
My experience with underwater was different than expected. Being under and hearing the sounds underwater was therapeutic. I felt relaxed once I was underwater. Movement was both easy and difficult. In the beginning my legs were just going with the movement of my body underwater, but as the session went on I did notice that my body was getting tired and my legs weren’t reacting the same way because they were tired too.
Water to me means freedom. Freedom to move without the force of gravity holding you down and stopping you.
My sleep after the underwater photoshoot was very deep. My body was a lot more exhausted by the end of the day and I slept amazingly.
My mood after I finished was relaxing. Chelsie and I took a nap and woke up and continued our day in happy moods.
I would definitely recommend underwater photoshoot to other spinal cord injury survivors. It’s a chance to be out of our wheelchairs and experience the freedom that water allows us to have.
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