2015 Imagine Award honoree Bethany Burton.
In 2007, Bethany’s life as she knew it was irrevocably altered. She had been a bright college student, but one day on her way from work to her home in Louisa County, she fell asleep at the wheel just down the road from her house. Bethany’s injuries were extensive – broken arms and legs and teeth, as well as a traumatic brain injury. It seemed unlikely that she would even survive, but against the odds, she did. After a year in the hospital, Bethany went home with visible scars and lasting effects from her injuries.
Bethany struggled with physical pain, limited mobility, and memory issues. She had to relearn how to walk and talk and manage the work of daily living in a whole new way. It would be easy, and perhaps understandable, for Bethany to succumb to depression, bitterness, or self-pity. But she didn’t, and this is what sets her apart. Instead, she set her mind towards recovery and creating a full life and a future for herself. Becoming a mom was part of that vision, so she thoughtfully took the necessary steps to have a healthy pregnancy. She built a network of support that would help her meet her goals, and CHiP was one of those resources.
Bethany gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Lyric, in 2013. Bethany continues to work hard in physical and occupational therapy, improving her strength and mobility and learning how to make accommodations that allow her to manage the daily care of her daughter safely and independently.
It was obvious to her first CHiP nurse, Sheena, that Bethany would one day be one of our Imagine Awards winners. Amy, Bethany’s Family Support Worker, marvels at Bethany’s determination. In her nomination, Amy says, “Lyric is on track developmentally with all of her milestones, and the bond/attachment between Lyric and Bethany is amazing! Bethany is a great example of parental engagement from singing, playing, and setting consistent routines and boundaries.”
When asked what the biggest change in her life has been since her accident, Bethany was quick to respond, “I like myself so much better now. I love myself.” As do we, Bethany. You are an inspiration!