Some victims let the repercussions of serious motor vehicle accident hinder their everyday life tremendously. Adora Trostle is an accident survivor who saw the positive under negative circumstances. Even though she was nearly killed 12 years ago this coming November, she defines the moment as an opportunity for renewal, a springboard for growth. Three months after turning 18, her lack of experience behind the wheel proved nearly fatal.
“The first snow of the year,” she recalls of that November night in 2002. She was driving alone when a semi tractor-trailer suddenly braked in front of her. Adora swerved to avoid that vehicle, but was struck by another. Her pelvis was broken, and she also suffered a brain injury that rendered her unable to speak for nearly a month.
In painstaking fashion, she got her voice back, but not the same one. Nearly 12 years later, she still takes her time to enunciate some words. “My voice quality changes a lot,” she says. “It suffers when I’m fatigued.”
Being 18, Adora was fortunate enough to have bought auto insurance. Auto No-Fault Insurance opened many doors that helped for a successful recovery.
Adora is a very vocal part of a special movie that was produced four years ago by the National Road Safety Foundation, filmed in cooperation with the Michigan Brain Injury Network. But what Adora gained in the process of losing some of her voice quality was a new appreciation for art, something that had not been encouraged in her as a youth. “I used to have to hide my drawings under my bed,” she says with a smile.
“Before, I sang, and my voice was my voice,” she says in the movie. “My art is how I sing now.”
Today, Adora lives among a community of other artists both in her home, and as a student enrolled at Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids. She’s a senior majoring in art history, but will probably study another year or two because she just added painting as a second major.
Most of her work is heavily symbolic, and represents the duality of her life — what she used to be, and who she’s becoming.
In her basement studio, she takes inspiration from Native American images to draw and paint other works, some still in the making. Russian authors also move her, because so many of them “deal with the harsh side of life.”
Through this whole experience Adora has found a new and satisfying outlook on life.