ARCADIA — When she was 9 years old, Macy Patrick began to dream about becoming a professional opera singer and musical performer.
She took voice lessons, performed in community theater, competed in pageants and voice competitions and auditioned and attended two summer music camps.
“I loved to perform, and music was my life,” Patrick said Tuesday morning, standing in front of an array of law enforcement officers, citizen car enthusiasts and their vehicles at the POPS in Arcadia.
On Sept. 29, 2009, Patrick was involved in a minor crash in the Westmoore High School parking lot. She rear-ended a vehicle and hit her head on the windshield because she was not wearing her seat belt. The responding officer and her family members lectured her for not buckling up. Wearing a seat belt was a standing family rule.
“But I was 18, and I had all the answers,” Macy said.
Early in the morning on Oct. 1, 2009, Macy got in her vehicle and did not wear her seat belt. Her dreams and hopes were crushed when she lost control of her vehicle on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.
A responding officer found Macy lying on the passenger side floorboard in a fetal position. She was transported by helicopter to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City where she spent two weeks in the intensive care unit.
She suffered a traumatic brain injury, several broken ribs, some bleeding in one of her lungs and a broken arm. She had to relearn basic every day skills such as walking, swallowing and cognitive processing for basic information.
After undergoing rehab, Macy had to come to grips with a new reality — her world as she knew it was gone. Her short-term memory and balance changed, and her singing voice was breathy and raspy.
“It’s been over four years since my accident, and although I have come a long way with my recovery, I still can’t sing like I used to,” Macy said.