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Her Unshakable Will to Live

"Tracy Hoskins"

Many of the stories of Canadian Achievers in my series deal with people who have made success of their lives in a monetary sense. This story contains no monetary value. This is a story of one person's triumph over unbelievable odds. A young woman's unshakable will to live. Her story is one of the most powerful and touching I have ever reported.

It is the story of Tracy Hoskins who realized a lifetime dream and then came back from the near dead to complete it.

The story begins 14 years ago when a nine year old girl, Tracy Hoskins from Brampton, Ontario saw the RCMP Musical Ride at the Calgary Stampede. She went backstage with her parents to inspect the horses and Mounties after the spectacle, which is renowned throughout the world. Tracy patted one of the horses and announced to her parents that she was going to be a police officer when she grew up.

"My father just smiled and thought it was a childish whim or something.

But it was no whim. Tracy kept that image of becoming a police officer alive in her mind and at 22 she joined the police force as a rookie cop in her home town of Brampton, Ontario. She was accepted in May 1987 and barely 10 months later, on January 18, 1988 disaster struck her.

"Another officer and I were directing traffic past an accident on Steeles Avenue just east of Airport Road in Brampton. We had to keep traffic to one lane, letting one group of cars go by from each side at regular intervals.

Then someone decided he wasn't going to wait his turn and came barreling through the line up of five other cars. He hit me and set me flying 150 feet. It was a hit and run. I was in a coma for three weeks and two days so I didn't know how badly I was hurt until I regained consciousness. Apparently I had been declared dead. My parents were told I wouldn't live even if I did regain consciousness. That was changed when the doctors told my parents that I might live but I would never walk, talk, or work again.

"My injuries included a fractured skull, fractured pelvis, and compound fractures of my right leg. A bone came through the back of the leg, it was so badly broken.

"I knew how grave my injuries were when the doctors told my parents within my hearing that I had less than a 50150 chance of recovering." Her parents were told that if Tracy did survive, she would never walk, talk or work again.

"So I said to myself, don't listen to them. You can achieve whatever you put your mind to. That's what happened. I put in mind a goal: keep going. It doesn't matter what someone else is saying to you or about you."

Twenty-eight months after Tracy Hoskins, a fighter, an achiever, was told she would likely not live, and if she did she would never walk, talk or work again, she returned to work. Tracy walks with great difficulty, and her speech is a bit slower, but she's back, fulfilling her promise made to her father. How did she feel to be going back to work after her horrendous experience and miraculous recovery?

"It was sort of unreal, like in a dream. It seemed like so long since I had been in that atmosphere. It was kind of story-like. But a good feeling; really nice."

With such a courageous attitude, what advice does Tracy Hoskins have for other people who suddenly find they have been given a poor prognosis for life?

"I would say that no matter how bad a person's prognosis is, it's what they believe in their heart and mind, particularly the heart, that is their strength. What they feel in their heart, that they can function and do is more important than what anyone else tells you."

She's another Canadian Achiever.

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