Contributor(s): Lindsey, Ruthie (Author)

At seventeen years old, Ruthie Lindsey was hit by an ambulance. She was given a five percent chance of survival and one percent chance of walking again. One month later, after a spinal fusion surgery, Ruthie defied the odds, leaving the hospital on her own two feet. Just a few years later, Ruthie began to experience debilitating pain. Her case confounded doctors and after numerous rounds of testing, imaging, and treatment, they prescribed narcotic painkillers–lots of them. Ruthie had become bedridden, dependent on painkillers, and hopeless, when an X-ray revealed that the wire used to fuse her spine was piercing her brain stem.