MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN)– Gina Arnold is 22-years-old. She’s from Macomb, Michigan and currently a sophomore at NMU.
“I used to play soccer all through growing up,” said Gina. “I love sports. I love watching sports. Football is one of my favorite sports to watch. i like being active. I like trying new things.”
In October of 2017, Gina’s life completely changed.
“I was in a very bad car accident that night coming home from work,” said Gina. “And the car…. I don’t remember it but car flipped seven times and hit a tree and it was because I lost control. Yeah my life forever changed.”
This left her in a coma for three days and an injury that left even doctors puzzled.
“The seat belt tore my whole abdominal wall in half like a sword and the doctors didn’t know what to do,” said Gina. “Something they’ve never seen before. It was a long road. I was in ICU for basically the whole three months and I had 21 surgeries and for a whole year they closed me up and I didn’t have an abdominal wall or anything and my intestines, they uncoiled and it was definitely a crazy road.”
Doctors told Gina that she may never work, walk again and might need nurses and in-home care for a long period of time.
“It was hard and to not deter from that,” said Gina. “It is okay to have breakdowns through that. I did have breakdowns that’s the whole part of the process.”
Gina says after the crash she was in fight mode and ready to tackle her life’s biggest battle.
“At first when they told me you can’t do these things,” said Gina. “In my head it wasn’t okay I can’t do it, it was okay how am I going to get there to be able to do that stuff again. And in my head it wasn’t am I going to be able to do these things, It was I’m going to it’s just how long is it going to take.”
Gina has beaten the odds. She was walks without assistance and she goes to classes at NMU again. She says she still has medical issues but it’s nowhere near what it used to be. Her injury left a large scar across her stomach and it’s something she’s embracing.
“One of the nurses, in the hospital, they laughed and said well you can say bye to wearing bikinis and that was one thing that really stuck with me because I didn’t see why it needed to be hidden or something to be ashamed of,” said Gina. “I thought it was a very beautiful thing, my scar was. I embrace it. I love it and I want everyone to embrace their scars. I don’t see why they need to be hidden.”
To spread her message, Gina had a photoshoot where she covered her scar with glitter.
I did that to show that your scars are beautiful,” said Gina. “That they shine and that you shouldn’t be ashamed to show them off and that the glitter symbolized that there’s more behind that scar, Tat, that scar shows so much more and that’s what I really wanted to portray and I wanted people to see that and feel confident in themselves in the scars that they have.”