Being on a wheelchair has not stopped her from gaining control over her life and body. Davis explains how the University of Oklahoma helped her in getting her life back on track.
Life is full of unpredictable surprises. While some are rewarding others are quite the opposite of that. Your whole life can be turned upside down in a few seconds and something similar to Mary Beth Davis. About nine years ago this student of the University of Oklahoma, was driving back home which was in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Davis was all set to visit her parents that weekend, but the only thing that she didn't expect was the tragic events that followed.
Unfortunately, while driving home, she got distracted for some reason. "Distracted driving, took my eyes off the road, overcorrected, went down a steep hill and flipped my truck twice," Davis told KFOR. The impact from the accident resulted in a broken neck and to make matters worse she was paralyzed from the waist down. However, this critical condition didn't stop her from returning to school for the next semester.
Davis graduated from her school in the spring of 2011. Unlike others who get disheartened by their physical limitations and fail to focus on what they always wanted to do, Davis didn't let her immobile legs hold her back. According to news sources, she went back to school and received her graduation as a doctor of veterinary medicine from Oklahoma State University. She is one of the few people to have graduated from the said university sitting on a wheelchair.
When asked about the level of difficulty that she had to face while preparing for this course she said, "It’s definitely not an easy profession." She explains how she had indeed trained herself to perform different surgical procedures. "I kind of have to train and adapt myself to be ambidextrous and use my left hand for surgical procedures and stuff like that." According to Stillwater News Press, Davis was extremely thankful for the helpful and accommodating nature of the faculty at the Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
"A lot of work went into making sure there were push buttons on all the doors," she explained. "Different tables were installed for me so that I could get under them and closer to a patient. A specific surgery table gave me the accessibility and ease to perform the way that I needed to. It was definitely something I was worried about coming into vet school. It made my life around the hospital and over at McElroy Hall a lot easier." Dr. Jerry Ritchey who is a professor and the head of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology told the newspaper that he first knew her as "the student in the wheelchair."
Soon he had the opportunity to have a word with Davis who shared the dark times she had overcome in order to be where she was today. Dr. Ritchey also accepts that he has "learned from her about her struggles and successes, the ingenuity required to accomplish simple daily tasks that I always took for granted." He further added, "She was always open, honest and sincere. Her journey speaks for itself. She provided me the confidence to approach and interact openly with any wheelchair-bound person. In the end, I guess I no longer see a ‘student in the wheelchair,’ I just see a young lady who is about to be called Doctor."
Ritchey also confesses that he never that Davis would come this far after several obstacles she had to face since the accident. Recalling the hard times she said, "Those were some of the darkest times that I had." She also told KFOR, "All I was worried about was, can I go back to school? Can I still drive? Am I going to be able to have kids?” She turned her life around for good as she's all set to get married in the month of November.
The cherry in the top has to be the fact that the two of them have been offered a couple job. Seeing her dreams come true regardless of the obstacles Davis now encourages people on a wheelchair to become veterinarians. She further added, "If I could expand on that and reach out to more people and there be more of a group to connect with and have people relate with each other, that would be helpful." Finally, she asks people to "Just be careful on the road." She warns, "One text message is not worth your life or somebody else’s.”