Living a Fairy Tale

Miss Wheelchair USA

With Mother’s Day having just passed, mothers have been on our mind. And Phaedra Marriott-Olsen is on the top of our list. She has long been a supporter of Magic Wheels… she even shared a bit of her story on our blog last year.  And we recalled that she often talks of her beloved son Joshua – so we recently got in touch to catch up. We learned that Phaedra is one busy woman!

First a bit about her story… Phaedra was 22 years old when she was hit head on by a drunk driver. It was Mother’s Day weekend – 1996. She spent four months in the hospital recovering from near-fatal injuries. She was in a respirator for over five weeks and had to learn to breathe on her own again.

More devastating than her physical injuries was the heartache she felt over her son. Joshua was four years old at the time and Phaedra had to learn to rely on others to help raise him.  Someone else taught him to swim and ride a bike. Someone else got to take him on his first roller coaster ride. At the time, Phaedra was disheartened and envious.  She felt like these precious moments had been stolen from her.

Today, 15 years later, Phaedra focuses on the good stuff. When asked to recall special moments of being a mother she talks about her son’s bedtime routine. When he was young he would pick out his own book and crawl into her bed for storytelling. When the story was finished he would turn out his mother’s light, kiss her on the cheek and tuck himself into bed.

Phaedra tells this story with a smile in her voice. She is not one for self-pity or remorse. Raising her son Joshua has been one of the most meaningful accomplishments in her life. And it sounds like she has done a superior job.  She told us proudly of Joshua’s open and loving nature. When he was in elementary school he was the only one in his class to befriend a new student – a deaf child. While the other kids at school made fun of their new classmate, Joshua asked him to play. And they became best friends. Phaedra tells us that, to this day, her son sees the personnot the disability.

Phaedra & Joshua

This is a woman who takes motherhood very seriously. She is the Manager of Victim Services for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and speaks throughout her state of Missouri about the dangers of drinking and driving. She is newly married with a new step-daughter and cherishes spending time with her – calling her and Joshua her “life lines.” And she and her new husband Eric are hoping to expand their family soon. She obviously has enough love to go around!

The Fairy Tale Wedding

Phaedra told us she is “living a fairy tale.” She met her Prince Charming. She had the perfect wedding. She has a family she adores. These are the things that bring meaning into her life. She is a woman who deserves to wear a crown on her head. Luckily she does… Last year she was crowned Miss Wheelchair USA!

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