Courage to Come Back 2019: As a teen she was told she’d never walk again. They were wrong

Harriet Ronaghan had to re-learn how to swallow, talk and walk after a devastating accident in her teens. Now she's living a life of joy with her husband and young son. Global News

Harriet Ronaghan was just a teenager when her family’s car was T-boned by a dump truck, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.

But after spending more than a decade on a gruelling path to recovery this young mother and Courage to Come Back Award winner is thriving.

Ronaghan now lives with her adoring husband and beautiful baby boy.

READ MORE: Courage to Come Back Awards: Suzanne Venuta

But getting to that place of happiness was a test of the 29-year-old’s physical and mental strength.

“I worked my butt off for a decade,” she told Global News. “The lovely life I have did not come pain-free.”

Harriet was in the back of her mother’s car nearly 12 years ago when the crash happened. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and was given just a five per cent chance of survival.

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She defied those odds but was left with life-changing injuries and forced to give up ballet, her passion.

“It was just devastating to not be able to move,” she said.

READ MORE: Courage to Come Back Awards: Jim Ryan

Harriet had to re-learn how to swallow, talk and walk.

“I was told I wouldn’t walk, I was told I would never get out of my wheelchair,” she said.

“I was made to buy a wheelchair and I used it three times.”

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Now she’s bringing hope to others by visiting patients at GF Strong, where she spent months in recovery. She also speaks to UBC physiotherapy classes.

As for winning the Courage to Come Back Award?

“Amazing. It’s mind-blowing,” she said.

“I feel like all my hard work has been acknowledged now.”

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