Fractured, not broken (a Memoir) by Kelly Schaefer


Fractured, not broken, is the true story of Kelly Schaefer, who becomes a quadriplegic after a car accident, and her struggle to adjust to her new life.

” Kelly is blessed that her story can help others.”

Kelly Schaefer
Book Cover Fractured, not Broken by Kelly Schaeffer

Every day thousands of people get into their cars and drive to work, go shopping, visit friends, or go on vacation. Few of us realize that our car can become a killing machine and the huge responsibility we take on every time we drive our cars!

Kelly Schaefer experienced it for herself after she became quadriplegic after an accident with a drunk driver.

When you read Fractured, not Broken, Kelly takes you on her journey. First, we experience with her the shock of her paralysis, the many months of rehabilitation, and the challenges of adjusting to a new way of living. It shows the courage of a brave woman, who against all odds manages to create a new life for herself!

Fractured, not broken – Summary

The Accident

July 10, 1999 – The day that changed Kelly Schaefer’s life forever!

The book tells Kelly story about the accident that left her a quadriplegic. And follows her through the years after.

It was the last day of her vacation with her family at a range in Durango, Colorado. She, her boyfriend Eric, and a group of friends decide to attend a local fair before flying back home the next day.

On their way, a drunk driver, Zach Ridgewall, crossed the centre line, grazed the back end of Stephanie’s truck, and slammed in the front of the brown Taurus.

Many of the kids sustained mild injuries, but John, the driver of the Taurus died. Jason suffered severe brain trauma and Kelly was taken to Mercy Medical Centre with a neck and spinal injury (C4 fracture), resulting in her becoming a quadriplegic.

Emotional challenges

Kelly shares with us all her emotional struggles. Her anger because no one was prepared to believe with her that she will be well again. Feeling vulnerable at night when her emotions overwhelm her. Sadness and anger. Envy of those who can still move so easily. And frustration when not making any progress and having to make peace with her new reality.

Deep down I knew Mom was right. God had a plan and I needed to find it. I needed to feel it, breathe it, and become a part of His plan, but I didn’t know how. I sighed. If only healing was as simple as Tyler planting his hands on my legs.

Fractured, Not Broken by Kelly Schaefer pg. 95 (Google Play Books)

Struggle for independence

She describes her long road of rehabilitation with occupational, physical, and psychological therapy. The purpose was to teach her how to cope with her disabilities. And attending sessions to help patients and their families prepare for returning home.

Also Read:  The Alchemy Thief by R.A. Denny

And once she returns home, the new way of living she must adjust to. Being dependent on others to care for her. She struggles to become more independent by starting to do more things for herself.

A photo of Kelly's Fifth Grade Classroom at Precious Blood
A photo of Kelly’s Fifth Grade Classroom at Precious Blood


It also speaks about her accomplishments by participating in pageants to broaden her speaking platform. Travelling to many schools to speak about the dangers of drinking and driving. But her biggest accomplishment was going back to college to get her teaching diploma and securing a teaching position, teaching Fifth Grade at Precious Blood school!

Marriage and children

It also tells of how she met Shawn, their growing relationship and how they eventually got married. And how they prepare to adopt two kids from the Congo.

If you would like to know more about Kelly, you can follow her on Social Media!

What did I like?

Kelly Schaeffer shows us what can be accomplished through sheer determination and an unwillingness to admit defeat. She shows us that disabilities don’t have to keep you back from reaching your dream and making a difference. That even though we cannot always control what happens to us, with courage we can choose how to react and still live a meaningful and rewarding life!

Also Read:  Room 119 by TF Lince

And not so much?

I find it tragic that the bad choices of a single man can cause so much pain and heartache. Resulting in so many hurt, one man dead, and a family irrevocably changed through the injuries of two of their children.

Should you read Fractured, not broken?

I highly recommend this book to readers who like to read true stories. We should share this book with others so that people can realize that driving under the influence or recklessly can have far-reaching consequences should you cause an accident!

If you like true stories, also check out my review of Spilled Milk (A True Story) by K.L. Randis

What do you think will be the biggest challenge if you have to become paralysed in an accident? Please share with us in the comments.

Follow Kelly Schaefer

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Print Length:

308 pages

Publication Date:

6 May 2017

Text-to-Speech | Screen Reader | Enhanced Typesetting | Word Wise

Categories: Medical Thrillers

Trigger Warnings: Euthanasia | Marital Violence | Sexual References | Profanity

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Hi! I am Susan

Welcome to my adventure

Why Read or Rot?

I have started reading at the age of four. I can remember how I often read under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to sleep.

During my early school years, we visited the library once a week. I couldn’t pick out my new book fast enough! By the end of the period, I would have finished it already, leaving me with nothing to read for the rest of the week!

Growing up, Fridays was the highlight of my week. Dad would pack the whole family into the car, and off we go! You guessed right – to the library! We were a family of readers.

In my adult years, I’ve developed a variety of interests like technology, photography, gardening and even writing. But reading was and will always be a part of my life!

Reading for me is like breathing. If I cannot read, my soul will quietly rot away

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