WASHINGTON (WUSA) --Despite the fact that she was paralyzed from the chest down less than five months ago, Carolina Alcalde says she has so much to be thankful for this year.
So three days before Thanksgiving, Carolina joined five other people, all of whom were treated this year at George Washington University Hospital, for Trauma Awareness Day, a day for the hospital's patients and staff to reflect on the many ways that they've touched each others lives.
On June 29th, the night of the Derecho in Washington, Carolina was riding her motorcycle on her way home to Adams Morgan when the powerful storm knocked a tree down right on Carolina's back, and just like that she was left permanently paralyzed.
She spent about a month at GWU Hospital before moving temporarily to Atlanta to be treated at one of the country's most highly-regarded spinal centers. She's now back in the DC-area to spend Thanksgiving with her family but will return to Atlanta in a few weeks for more treatment.
Carolina says her injuries still cause her some pain and discomfort, and she's still very much adjusting to having to get around in a wheelchair but, despite all that, she remains remarkably upbeat, and grateful for everything and everyone in her life.
"I have nothing to complain about, I really don't. I'm grateful just to be alive," Carolina said.
To help defray the costs of Carolina's medical care, her friends and family started a web site, www.campocaro.com, with all kinds of information about her story and links to places where people can give money.