Family vacations usually mean fun and tons of memories but for Milford resident Emily Stapleford, an accident in June changed everything. Stapleford, who has a master’s degree in speech therapy, worked as a speech pathologist for the last five years. She mostly works with adults, some who have issues with swallowing.
“Most people don’t realize that swallowing is a huge part of speech,” said Stapleford. “It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the job.” Another passion for Stapleford that turned into a career is Yoga. She obtained her 250 hour teacher certification back in 2015 and occasionally teaches in Milford.
Always an extremely cautious person, Stapleford had reservations about riding an ATV that fateful day in June. “I’m not really into riding four-wheelers,” said Stapleford. “This was actually my first time riding alone.” Her family, including her young nephews, had ridden these trails multiple times without incident. Luckily, she doesn’t remember too much from the accident. “Your mind has a way of pushing out those kind of memories,” said Stapleford.
Stapleford’s husband of 2 years, Eli, recalled most of the details. After flipping the ATV 3 times in the air, Eli was able to lift it so it didn’t completely crush her. Flown to the nearest trauma center, Stapleford underwent emergency surgery to fix numerous injuries. “I broke my pelvis in 2 places and also my right tibia and fibula,” said Stapleford. “And because my leg was shattered so badly, I needed a bone graft and a rod that extends from my ankle to my knee.”
Recovery was going to be a long road for Stapleford and then a miracle happened. Just 10 days after the accident she found out she was pregnant. “The timing is funny though and I’m always looking for the silver lining,” said Stapleford. “I was pretty sick the first trimester so I wasn’t too disappointed to lie in bed!”
After having to spend almost 2 months non-weight bearing on her injured leg, in August she was finally able to walk again. Today, Stapleford is trying to regain some normalcy in her life. She went back to work at her therapy job part-time but now, she is taking it easy with a new at-home job that coincides with her love of holistic living. “It’s a health company,” said Stapleford. “It really goes with everything that I’m interested in.” Stapleford and her husband are also looking forward to the birth of their baby girl in February.
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