My Story

Hey, I’m Kelli and welcome to my blog!

My Story - Living After Surviving

I was born in Fresno, California but grew up in the Bay Area and Hawaii. After graduating high school in Honolulu, I moved back to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University. There, I received a B.A. in Drama and then headed down to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. However, after writing and performing my own monologues and short film; I discovered acting wasn’t for me, but rather a career in writing and motivational speaking was going to be my main focus.

Thus, here I am. I’m 32 years old and I have a passion to share my insights based on past experiences. By doing this, I hope to help motivate and inspire others in whatever shape or form that may be.

But first, here’s my story:

In 2010 at the age of 21, I was studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia for a year long program. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the program because I was in a serious car accident that left me with severe and permanent injuries.

What happened exactly?

My left hand was crushed and almost needed to be amputated. Luckily, the doctors managed to save it, but had to do some major reconstruction by taking skin and muscle from my thigh. A skin graft had to placed onto my palm and needles needed to readjust my finger placement. It is now a “helper hand” and not 100% functional.

In addition, my right hand suffered ulnar nerve damage from the pinky finger to elbow. The doctors took nerve from my calf and placed it into my arm in order for the nerve to grow back naturally. But the nerve did not grow the full length and as a result,  I was left with 80% of feeling and function in the hand.

After three major surgeries and a one month hospital stay in Australia, I flew back home to California, where I continued more surgeries and therapy.

With that said, I’ve had a total of 11 surgeries and four years of my life dedicated to crying it all out, getting stronger, and moving forward.

Throughout my tough journey, I wished for someone to talk to who was just like me. I always found it comforting to know that if someone else can do it, then so can I. They’ve been there, they know what I’m experiencing, and I’m going to be alright. I’m going to make it.

Except I found that no one really had been in my situation before. Doctors told me my injuries were unique and couldn’t refer me to an appropriate support group.

This later made me wonder about people out there who’ve dealt with or who are currently dealing with any type of trauma.

Do they have someone to talk to?

My mission for this blog is to create an open portal to speak about my after trauma insights and where people can relate, share, or feel motivated to accept and more so embrace their authentic lives, just like I have and am currently doing.

After the car accident, I unexpectedly found a lot of inspiration that has helped me spring myself back to life in the most positive and nourishing way. I’ve learned that even though life is crazy and things go wrong, everything will eventually be okay.

Why put up limitations or just settle because of the circumstances?

Living after surviving is possible and I want to show you!

xo, CHU

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