By Sophia Afsar-Keshmiri, Special to The Chronicle
Olivia Monsour, the Queensbury Class of 2022 grad badly injured last summer in a Michigan car crash, has recovered to the point that she started pursuing her post-graduate plans earlier this month.
“I’m doing the 600-hour course to get my esthetics license…at the Aesthetic Science Institute in Latham,” Olivia told The Chronicle. The Institute calls itself The School of Appearance Enhancement.
Her mother Jennifer said, “She is able to walk independently with braces now and no longer requires a wheelchair. So we’re so encouraged and so hopeful for a full recovery.”
Olivia was ejected from the seat of the car she was riding in on the way home from a trip to Michigan with her boyfriend’s family.
The accident “really has shown me how strong I am. I never knew until I had to go through it. But, like everything…you can’t just give up. You just have to do it.”
Olivia didn’t know if she’d ever be able to walk again.
“I spent almost a month in rehab. And I’ve been doing PT [physical therapy] and OT [occupational therapy] about two to three times a week for the first couple of months I got home,” says Olivia.
“I graduated from OT, so I’m only doing PT twice a week. But once January hits, I’ll be doing PT once a week.”
Jennifer applauds her daughter for “going to therapy and having the will to keep going because it’s kind of a secret world of spinal cord injuries, and when we go to therapy, it’s very sad….
“We have to stay very focused, and we have to stay very positive. There’s times where she’s in so much pain, it’s hard for her to even get out of bed, that she knows that she has to do what she’s supposed to in order to heal.”
Olivia says her family has “been amazing. Through all of this, they go above and beyond. They always put my needs before anything else.”
“If I didn’t have my mom, and all my grandparents and everybody, my brother visiting me when I was in the hospital, aunts and uncles, everybody, you know, I…don’t think I would have been able to…get through it.
“My mom took three months off of work. And now she is working…full-time. but she gets out a little bit earlier,..She started working earlier so that she could take me to all my appointments…”
Mrs. Monsour says “…I think that the doctors and therapists have really been the key to her improvement. We have a team that’s just so committed to a full recovery.”
Although “feeling good,” Olivia says, “It can be overwhelming. And I do have challenging days. But the support from everybody, my family, my friends, the community truly has helped me…through this.”
Last July, Olivia’s father, Joseph Monsour, said that it was unclear when or if she would be able to attend the Aesthetic Science Institute. This month she made it.
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