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Help Dianne Voyage Forward

On July 19, 2020 my life changed in a heartbeat.

Updates (5)

June 3, 2021

I am coming up on one year, July 19, 2020, and I don’t know how I feel about it. My life as I knew it that day, is over.

I had been working a 4-day stretch of 12-hour shifts as a surgical physician assistant in Syracuse, New York. This was my dream job. After work I came home to my apartment and sunk into my couch. But, as I looked out the window and saw the beautiful sunset I couldn’t help but want to get a better view and enjoy the warm summer heat. I grabbed a blanket and climbed the ladder up to the roof. I laid up there watching the sun escape beneath the horizon and then as it darkened, admiring the stars take over the sky. Maybe I was still daydreaming as I tried to descend the 15 foot ladder, I slipped on the first step and landed on my back. I laid there in pain for a minute before realizing my fate... I was paralyzed from my chest down.

So much has happened since then. I had fractured my right scapula and punctured a lung during the fall. Apart from the emergent surgery I had to fix my broken neck, I needed chest tubes, a respirator, and then later a tracheotomy. I spent 4 weeks in the ICU in Syracuse - one of which being my 28th birthday, 2 months in intensive inpatient rehab in Boston, required an additional neck surgery and have opted to have 2 nerve transfer surgeries in either forearms in hopes to restore some finger function.

At first every day was hard. Having been diagnosed with type one diabetes at 18 years old, I thought I was well-versed in adversity. But I quickly learned that adversity is something you overcome, struggle is something you endure. I’m going to struggle every single day, that’s not a choice I have. But I do have the choice to struggle with laughter or misery. When you struggle with laughter, days are a little less hard.

This mindset of optimism and perseverance grew through competition and sport. I grew up as a three sport athlete and then went on to play collegiate lacrosse at the D1 level. After college I stayed active, joining a HITT gym, running a marathon, biking and hiking regularly. I definitely have had many obstacles throughout these athletic endeavors but I have a zest for life that drives me forward regardless of temporary setbacks.

Not to mention I have a whole community I know has my back. And that I think might be my biggest saving grace. I may not be able to walk but they will help me stand. As Chris Norton said, “happiness isn’t measured by steps.” It’s measured by the relationships you form and the relationships you keep.

So, one year later and it’s weird to say that I feel okay.

January 5, 2021

Wow has time flown by. In the beginning of November I successfully had my second neck surgery to stabilize my existing anterior construct. I have been working extremely hard ever since to continue to make gains in my strength and function. After a quick break home for Christmas I am back in Boston and returning to nearly 3 hours of therapy a day, 5 days a week. I encourage you all to watch my progress by following my Instagram account “vittysvoyage” as that is my way of saying thank you for all your support. Wishing everyone a safe and healthy new year!

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September 20, 2023

Dianne, your journey of hope and good will is and inspiration to all, you will be in my prayers.

Mary Anne Cody

September 10, 2023

Proud to support Dianne and this worthwhile cause.

Deni and Victor Nesi

August 3, 2022

I came across your page by chance. Seeing what you’ve been able to do with what life has thrown at you is inspiring. Its a good feeling to see all that you’ve done and the amount of support you have around you. I know it’s not much but I hope this will help you and the people around you to continue doing what you love.
Much love and support,

-Keep living your best life

Colin Lantry