NORTH PLATTE, Neb.--(KNOP) I pulled you out of that car, but I'm never going to stop pulling you up, said Roger Pepper, the man who saved Allison Massari's life.
When Massari was just 32 her life changed forever, as she sat trapped in her burning car consciously aware she was in an accident. She said she could remember every single detail from that day. The most predominant being the sense of loneliness, as sat there, thinking she was going to die.
But then Pepper appeared, kicked her car window out and dragged her to safety.
During her lecture, Massari spoke of what it was like to feel exposed to the gazing crowd as the paramedics cut off her burned clothes. She remembers a firefighter leaving her with her dignity, as a coat was placed over her naked body.
Throughout the lecture, a common theme was kindness and showing compassion towards others. She told the crowd about the nurse who took a moment to ask her if she was ready, as she reconnected her scalp to her skull with a staple gun.
During this time, Massari felt a sense of despair. "I felt betrayed by life. I couldn't understand how life could be that unfair," she said.
She remembers sitting on the hospital bed, no longer wanting to continue on, but then something miraculous happened, as she settled with her decision. She said her arms began to move, her body didn't want to give up.
"So I realized, giving up was just an illusion. I could spend my life trapped in a body that was saying yes it wanted to live. I could have spent my life a prisoner of my body or I could participate and lean into it. So it was this amazing 'Ah Ha' moment that happened so early."
That moment set the tone for her recovery, as another devastating accident would occur just two years later. This time, a traumatic brain injury so severe she said she couldn't even remember the color blue.
"I felt like my mind was taken away from me, and I had been assigned to a diminished life." Massari, now completely healed, was once told she would need assistance for the rest of her life.
"I have come through such extraordinary things, that have challenged me."
Massari said the day she knew she climbed out of the rabbit hole, was when she woke up one morning feeling completely at peace. It was then she knew she wanted to tell her story and let others know it is possible, no matter how far life pushes you, you can come out better than before.
"A gift can come from the saddest moments in life," she said, "but you have to look for it."
This lecture was apart of the Town Hall Lecture Series. B. Gentry Lee, will wrap up the series on Tuesday, May 9th. As he discusses how future innovations and discoveries will impact our lives in the 21st century.