Something Worth Saving

Posted by Tyra Randle in Life After Paralysis on November 08, 2022 # Lifestyle

I will never forget the sound of my daughter's cry and scream as I laid there applying pressure to my neck. At that moment, my parent and nursing instincts took over. Which I believe not only saved my life but my kid's life as well. All I can remember doing was calming my daughter down and directing her on what to do next. In a calm, assuring voice, I told her to grab her brother, go upstairs to the right, and call 911. After my kids left, I prayed and asked God not to let me die because I did not have enough life insurance for both of my kids.

See, I just had my son not even two months before this. When I got shot and had my son, I was dealing with my stepfather, diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer. Lung cancer isn't classified by stages but by small and non-small cells. With small cells, it is like stage 3 or 4. My stepdad appointed me his durable power of attorney, which means now, if he could not make a decision for himself, I had to.

On November 23, 2019, my stepdad went to the hospital and never came out. Things went downhill quickly, which caused me to be back and forth to the hospital. December 23, 2019, I got "that" call; my stepdad had declined and needed to decide whether to make him a DNR (do not resuscitate) or keep him full code. Consulting with my younger siblings, we made him a DNR. At that moment, I packed up my newborn and daughter and sped to get my siblings, and we made it to the hospital just in time to see my stepdad take his last breath.

After that, I had to plan and execute a funeral for a person who was loved by so many. This was the hardest thing I had ever done up to this point in my life. January 4, 2020 was the day of the funeral and my daughter's birthday. So now you have a little glimpse at why I did not have the time to add my son to my life insurance policy.

Around 4.5 million women (about twice the population of New Mexico) in the US have been threatened with a gun, and 1 million women (about the population of Delaware) have been shot or shot by an intimate partner. A woman is 5 times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to a gun. Nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced severe physical violence, including being struck with a hard object, being kicked, or being beaten or burned, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the distribution of causes of SCI has changed drastically. 13.5% of SCIs are due to violence, primarily gunshot wounds.

Women comprise approx. 20% of all new traumatic injuries and between 25% to 30% of all individuals living with SCI in the US. 19% of all domestic violence involves a weapon, and 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence. 41.25% of Black women and 36.3% of Black men have experienced intimate partner physical violence in their lifetime.

All those facts are very alarming. Life gives you a gut full of reasons to be angry, but you only need one to be grateful. Even though I have an SCI because of domestic violence, I am still grateful to be alive. An estimated 51.3% of Black adult female homicides are related to intimate partner violence. That is 51.3%, 51.3% of women that did not make it as I did.

God saw something in me worth saving, but it is up to me to decide what I have to offer. So, I have decided to turn my pain into purpose.

My name is Tyra Randle, and I'm a domestic violence survivor. On January 15 of 2020, I was shot 8 times in my home by my son's father and was left paralyzed. Since then, I have devoted my life to being an advocate for domestic violence survivors as well as the disabled community. Now, as an experienced and esteemed public speaker, Diamond in the Rough aims to deliver education, inspiration and hope to a variety of audiences.

TikTok: @tyinthecity

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The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.