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 My name is Brandon Blackard, my wife is Erica Blackard, and our daughter‘s name is Elizabeth. Erica and I actually met when we were working at Dollar General. I was going to one of the local community colleges. I worked part-time after class, while she had a full-time position. We always got along so well there always was some chemistry between us, but the timing was never right. I took a job as a computer technician, but I just didn't make ends meet there because I didn't have a degree. Well, long story short that didn't work out.  I was going through a really adventurous time in my life. I really hate I wasn't the man that I needed to be for her. I had made up my mind that I was getting everything back on track, so I made plans to go back to college in the fall of 2005.




   Tragically plans were brought to a halt on May 3, 2005. I was in an automobile accident, it left me paralyzed from the neck down for a while. My internal injuries were so bad that they put me into a medically induced coma for nearly 8 weeks. After I was stable I went to Shephard Center in Atlanta for rehab. They were prepared for me to start as if I was paralyzed from the neck down, whenever they realized I had movement in my arms they changed everything. I started in a power chair gradually getting stronger. I was there for around 4 months getting better. My arms were getting stronger so they let me get in a manual chair and I would stay in one for the first 14 years of my injury. After I got home I continued a rigid therapy routine at home therapy for over 18 years. Age has taken its toll, and Brandon is now in a power chair, but he continues to bottle to get through every single day. He is currently battling two pressure sores at the moment, so keep them in your prayers. 

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  While I was dealing with my issues, Erica also had her own mountains to climb. Elizabeth was born 5 weeks premature on December 19, 2004. She also was born with tibial hemimelia because of sacral agenesis, and her hip was dislocated. She had her right leg amputated at the knee when she was 14 months old. She was in and out of the hospital and at 19 months she had hip surgery and was in a body cast for 10 weeks. She kept getting a urinary tract infection because of all the complications. After everything healed up she got a prosthetic leg and has adapted very well it has just been a long road. We have just recently found out that she has SCOLIOSIS. She has a 46° bend in her spine. She had to wear a back brace for a while. It has finally stabilized some. If it gets any worse in the future.  It will require her to have rods put in her back to keep it straight.





In March of 2009 Erica found me again on MYSPACE, and we started talking more and more. She would come over and hang out while I dun my therapy during the day. Well on March 26, 2009, we had been talking for a couple weeks and we rode with my helper and her son to get something done in in the van that I had at the time. We were alone in the van so I told her to come give me a kiss. Well, I started having trouble with my help that stays with me during the day and we really were just looking for an excuse be around each other. She started staying with me during the day and cared for me. We had got real serious and had planned to get married in June of 2010. Unfortunately, in November of '09. Erica was in a car accident too. She was ejected from the vehicle. She also had a spinal cord injury which left her completely paralyzed for a few days. The movement slowly started returning in her body. It has been a hard fight for her, but she can walk now. She has had more trouble out of her arms than anything. The paralysis left the left hand with limited movement, and the right shoulder was separated when she was ejected from the car. The sad thing is she hasn't been able to get the therapy she needs to get better. Because of her limited movement in her left hand, she wasn't able to get the medical help she needed on her shoulder without losing her independence. She has recovered so much and has actually begun helping take care of me again. Everything has been really hard on us, but we are trying to make it. It has really been hard on me because I never thought I would get a chance to be her father. Not only have I found the love of my life, also I was blessed with a little girl whom I love more than life itself. I couldn’t be happier than I am now. As of this March 26, 2014, we decided that we had been threw enough, and being that it was our 5 year anniversary since we started dating we decided to get married. We decided that we were just going to do it and are preacher's living room. Our Bishop and his wife just would not have it, so they planned us a wedding and a reception. Brandon has just recently got a full-room hoyer system to safely care for him long-term. Erica even with her limitations can get him in and out of the chair with this system. He also has several accessible therapy-based machines and is a very self-driven individual and his independence is a life goal. In having a spinal cord injury self-preservation and self-maintenance is the key thing. Recently there have been other major medical complications. Brandon was diagnosed with a blood clot from his chest to both of his ankles. Through extensive medical treatment because the clots were removed and preventive treatment is continuing to keep from anything of that nature reoccurring. Since 2017 Brandon had been fighting a pressure sore on his left leg that is kept him bedbound for the most part of 2 1/2 years. He was able to go to Atlanta Georgia to have surgery to get it repaired. As of April 2023 and has been over 4 years since his surgery and he is doing well. It has been a long road for all of us, but we are grateful things have not been more serious.


   Unfortunately in early 2023, Brandon had to have surgery to receive a colostomy and a urostomy. It was due to anatomy issues associated with his spinal cord injury. Brandon lost a lots of weight and it led to Brandon having skin breakdown again and developing two more pressure sores again. We are thankful that all of this has been kept from getting super severe. It once again has gotten to the point that it's going to require surgery to get everything closed up and Brandon's health to 100%.  He will be having surgery at the UAB campus in Alabama to get everything repaired.

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