Wheelchair Life, One Comic at a Time
By Molly Elizabeth
Hello, my name is Molly and I am an incomplete paraplegic as a result of Transverse Myelitis (TM). In 2007, I was diagnosed with TM after going to bed with a sore lower back and waking up completely paralysed from the waist down. Unfortunately, no doctor has ever been able to pinpoint the exact cause, but they believe it may have been due to an asymptomatic chest infection. At the time, I was a 14-year-old still trying to figure out my place in the world, so throwing a seemingly out-of-nowhere spinal cord injury into the mix turned my family’s and my world completely upside down.
I spent months in the hospital relearning how to do daily activities and slowly regaining some movement and sensation to my lower limbs. By the time I was discharged from the hospital, I was able to stand and walk short distances with crutches to assist me, but I now had to start my new journey of being 98% dependent on my manual wheelchair.
It’s been just over a decade now and I am in a place I thought I’d never be: medically stable, working full time on a Spinal Rehabilitation ward, and living with my amazing partner, Chris. The combination of the stability in my life and the daily reminders at my work of how difficult dealing with a serious injury or illness can be prompted me to begin drawing comics. My goal is to draw comics that don’t necessarily focus just on my wheelchair in every single post, but more on how life in a wheelchair is just as normal as any other life – there is happiness, sadness, laughter, doubts, frustration and many more emotions. But in the end, I want my comics to show the wide range of moments that I encounter in my life, wheelchair-orientated, relatable, informative, or just plain silly!
You can follow Molly’s comics on Instagram at @mollyelizabethcomics.