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Maine woman on long road to recovery after chimney accident

A chimney toppled onto Messalonskee HS graduate Erin Field, leaving her paralyzed

CANTON, Mass. — Erin Field's life was going exactly as planned. A field hockey and lacrosse star at Messalonskee High School, Erin continued her field hockey career at Goucher College in Maryland. Law school was in her future, but then her future changed.

It was July 11th, 2017.  Erin was in a hammock on the roof of her brother's apartment in Boston. The hammock was attached to a chimney on one side, and a wall on the other side. The chimney cracked and fell on top of Erin.  Her boyfriend Jack pulled the bricks off as quickly as he could but the damage was done. She suffered Injuries to her ribs, lungs, and her C-6 vertebrae. She lost all feeling in her legs, and most feeling in her arms. Erin was paralyzed from the waist down.

"I get annoyed because I was the one, Jack was like, let's just sit up here and hang out and I was the one who said no, let's go in the hammock... It's so weird how such a small decision changed my life" says Erin now. 

She went from weeks in the hospital, to months at the Spaulding rehab center before being allowed to go home. Now, 19 months later. Erin is continuing down her road to recovery. Her family has moved from Sidney to Boston so they and her therapy bulldog Oakley can support whatever she needs whenever she needs it. Erin's mother Heidi has gone from watching her daughter take on Skowhegan in field hockey to watching her try and move a little bit more.

"Those are hard... It's hard to think about... But that's me thinking about it... she never does... We don't have those conversations, she will look back at pictures and will laugh and remember... it makes me sad, but it doesn't make her sad" Heidi said. 

Erin added, "I have dreams all the time....of playing field hockey.. all the time... I have these weird dreams where I can walk and play field hockey, but only for 15 minutes at a time but then my legs are tired... and I will wake up and my legs will hurt"

Her hard work is paying off as her physical therapists can attest to. "Her progress has improved... When she first started her neck was weak and we would have to take breaks... Now her neck isn't really an issue at all... She has a lot of goals for herself which is awesome... she just got her manual chair which is a huge step and one of her goals.. I think 2019 is going to be a great year for her"

As for the future for the 23-year-old, Erin thought she wanted to be a lawyer before the accident, now, she *knows* she does.

"I want to do therapy for a couple of years until I am strong enough to go to law school. I don't want to do it online. I want to go.. in this chair... if I am not walking!"

To learn more about Erin and her recovery, you can find her GoFundMe Page.