The 9th Annual Keefe Family Polar Plunge will take place on Saturday, March 11th at 12 p.m. at Seabrook , NH on the beach at the intersection of Hooksett and Ocean Streets. This year we will again be taking our dip for twenty-three year old Ally Teixeira, paralyzed in an automobile accident on December 14th, 2014 and the mother of two year old Alyvia and twenty- two year old Cooper Doucette, paralyzed on the first day of pre-season football in August of 2010. Both are from Nashua, NH and an inspiration to our family and many others while carrying on with normal daily activities: Ally caring for her very young daughter and Cooper studying at UNH, the two have remained working hard at Physical Therapy both refusing to give in to their injuries.
The costs of day to day living are astronomical for both of these young people. Along with the instantaneous life change comes the need for so many items necessary for Ally and Cooper as well as their caregivers to be able to get through their daily activities. There are the beds that turn them while they sleep to decrease the possibility of bed sores, Gantry’s to help them pull themselves out of and in to bed, ramps that allow them to get in to and out of their homes, bathroom fixtures and doorways needed to be changed and enlarged, specialized wheelchairs and vans that allow them to get to therapy, school, doctors appointments and other events and the most important necessity that is not covered by insurance, and visits to Project Walk. Those visits not only give these two Hope, but a true feeling of accomplishment and the possibility that one or both of them will walk again.
Ally Teixeira turned twenty-three on October 30th. She is the mother of two year old Alyvia.
Alexandria, Ally as we call her, is a Nashua resident seriously injured in a Dec. 14th,
2014 auto accident in Tyngsborough. With a plethora of brand-new photos of baby Alyvia downloaded, Nashua resident Alexandria Teixeira and her boyfriend, strapped Alyvia into her car seat, climbed in their car, left the home of Alexandra’s mom and headed for Pheasant Lane Mall to visit Santa. It was a mid-December Sunday afternoon and Alexandria was having a blast going visiting with 1-year-old Alyvia, family members recalled. When they saw the long line for the mall Santa, they happily switched to Plan B: Take Alyvia to visit her boyfriend’s grandmother in Dracut.
But moments after they crossed into Massachusetts, as the landmark iron bridge that spans the Merrimack River in Tyngsborough was coming into view, the sickening sounds of shattering glass, crunching metal and hissing engine parts filled the air. Alexandria Teixeira lied in Tufts Medical Center in Boston, visited and comforted by a parade of members of her large and extended family and plenty of friends. They all have a prayer that Alexandria recovers conquering the paralysis that resulted
from the head and neck injuries she sustained in the crash.
“The best-case scenario is that it won’t be forever,” Gina Teixeira said shortly after the accident, referring to her daughter’s paralysis. The upside, she said, is that Alex is alert, can roll her eyes and shrug her shoulders, and it appears to have suffered no lasting brain damage.
Alyvia, thanks to her carseat, was uninjured, Teixeira said.
As is typically the case when catastrophic injury strikes, Ally’s
medical costs and related expenses are sure to rise well beyond the
insurance coverage she has. To address that, the family set up a trust
fund, details of which, including how to donate, appear in
the “How to Donate” page.
Gina Teixeira said the fact she happens to be an emergency room nurse is helpful now, but not so much when she got that dreaded call. “I knew when I got the call it wasn’t good,” she said, referring to the preliminary reports she was getting on her daughter’s condition. “But it’s better, at least a little better, to know what’s going on.”
Nobody, not even Ally’s doctors, knows at this point is whether the
vivacious 23-year-old who, between working full time, going to school nights and caring for Alyvia seemed to be in perpetual motion, will one day walk on her own. “We really don’t know until the swelling comes down and she gets into rehab,” Gina Teixeira said. Today, Ally is working tenaciously at Project Walk in Stratham, NH. Although very beneficial, they are costly and not covered by insurance. This Plunge will help with those costs and many others.
Ally’s most recent wish: To remodel her bathroom in her apartment so that she can can take a bath and shower as we do. Ally and Cooper get cold very quickly and after a long day Ally yearns to take a warm bath. She can’t do that now. Something so simple yet not available to her. Yet. We’d love to help her reach that goal.
Cooper Doucette will be twenty-two years old on February 16th and currently attending the University of New Hampshire as a Senior Communications Major with a Minor in Business. God willing he will graduate in May.
Cooper was paralyzed in August of 2010 playing football at Nashua North High School. It has been a long road for Coop. Trips to Atlanta, GA, scores of visits to Journey Forward in Canton, MA which is similar to Project Walk in Stratham, NH where Ally works out. He has a younger brother, Chandler and is the son of Bill Doucette. Needless to say, it has not been an easy time for Bill, Cooper and Chandler. Like Ally, Cooper has continued to stay focused, work extremely hard and kept his dream alive to walk again. His van is failing and his hope is to begin saving for a new one. We’d like to help him get started with our upcoming March Plunge.
Cooper’s Wish List: Have hand controls installed in his van so that he can learn to drive this summer and more PT hours at Project Walk. Simple but costly needs. We’d like to help him with those wishes.