MINNEAPOLIS - In a hospital room, surrounded by photos of her daughter and seated next to her devoted boyfriend, Alyssa Pfannenstein is determined that she will one day walk again.
"I can't accept that I'm going to be stuck like this forever. I don't feel like that's how it's going to be," she said.
On September 3, on a beautiful Sunday after church, Alyssa and Justin Janssen took her daughter Abiliene to a Bemidji park. The couple tied their new hammock to two large trees to watch the 5-year-old play. And moments after lying in it, they fell.
"And then something just smoked me in the back of the head. And I instantly knew I couldn't feel my legs," Pfannenstein said.
They say the tree looked solid on the outside, but was rotted on the inside. And it snapped and landed on Alyssa.
"And I noticed the tree was on my arm, and I didn't feel it," Pfannenstein said.
The tree shattered a vertebrae in her neck and left her paralyzed.
"But after my surgery, when I woke up, I could feel my whole body again," Pfannenstein said.
She can feel, but still can't move her legs.
"It's almost like your body forgets how to work again," Pfannenstein said.
With the help of rehab doctors, she's tryint to re-teach it.
Justin drives four and a half hours each way to spend every weekend with her.
"I know she would be doing the same thing for me," he said.
They're working toward getting Alyssa home to her daughter, with smiles on their faces and faith in their hearts.
"I just appreciate life so much. You know?," Pfannenstein said.
Doctors expect Alyssa to stay at Abbott Northwestern Hospital at least for the rest of the month then hopefully move to another rehab facility.
Alyssa has a gofundme page to help with medical costs.
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