Fitness

The Paralyzed Personal Trainer Is Back On Her Feet

The NASM-certified personal trainer Nikki Walsh loves working out and helping others achieve their fitness goals.

She would travel to different states to help open new Yard House restaurants, set up the bar, and train bartenders.

Traveling to new cities at least every couple of months was the best part of my job.

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For Nikki, everything was fine until an incident in 2018 raised questions about her relationship with fitness and movement.

A fender bender stalled Nikki’s car as she came home from her bartending job around 2 a.m.

As a result of the accident, she called 911. The police told me to put my flashers on and stay in my car.

Nikki said, “I do not remember anything about the accident, except that I woke up in the back seat of my car screaming, Get me out of here; I am not dying tonight.”

When I regained consciousness four days later, my mother told me I couldn’t walk as I was paralyzed from the chest down.

An SUV rear-ended me at full speed into a tractor-trailer next to it. My car was then dragged 500 feet into a median. As I saw my car pictures and learned I could not walk or move my legs anymore, I felt grateful to be alive.

It took me two surgeries to fuse my spine. Besides multiple spinal fractures, a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and lacerations on my face, arms, and legs, I also suffered multiple spinal fractures. I also had two chest tubes during recovery.

Nikki has to undergo therapy at a rehab center in Philadelphia for months.

When my family went to Hawaii, my sister and I decided to work out in a fitness center since I always had a gym.

After I got injured, my home became my gym. After going to my hotel room, I felt very insecure and cried a lot. After that, I decided I wouldn’t be a victim of my circumstances.

After returning home, Nikki went to her friend and asked her to train to regain her comfort.

Once they started training, Nikki could hardly complete exercise on the cable machine at the lightest weight without assistance.

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But she decided she was not going to let this go.

After she got paralyzed, Nikki lost all her hopes. But her confidence level has regained her certification in 2020.

As she says, I wanted to prove we can train and gain strength despite our disabilities.