Creating a support group for MVA survivors
For all of the support groups out there that exist to serve victims of accidents, recovering from one can still feel like a lonely experience. It seems like nobody quite gets it. Nobody else was injured the way you were. They don’t have the same lasting pain. Their bodies hold the echoes of trauma in a different fashion. As such, it feels like you suffer by yourself.
That is, it can be like that for some people. Dawne McKay, who was rear-ended at an unthinkable 80 km per hour by an SUV that shoved her into the path of an oncoming truck, suffered tremendous injuries.
When she was transported to her local hospital, they quickly decided to send her to a trauma unit that could better handle her grievous wounds – and the other center greeted her with the hospital chaplain.
Recovering from that accident has been a constant exercise because Dawne is still recovering, all these years later. During the course of this seemingly endless recovery, she learned who her true friends are, how steady her other half is, and upon whom she can truly rely.
She also realized that she needed a real support network, one that she could not find in the web of outpatient rehabilitation, physical therapists, doctors, psychologists and other professionals she was seeing.
She needed other people like herself. Basically, she needed her tribe.
That is why Dawne created the Facebook group Motor Vehicle Accident Victims in 2016, which has now grown close to 200 members; many of them have just been discharged from the hospital or are caregivers of those who have been in accidents.
The group does not provide medical advice, but offers the sort of understanding and compassion that Dawne herself was seeking after her own accident. She also created MVA Support & Recovery, a page for those who want information and resources, but do not want the support-group environment.
Sometimes the only true empathy can come from those who have gone through what you have experienced. And while other support groups for motor vehicle accident victims certainly exist, it does help to have a smaller, more intimate experience – to truly know the others in the group, and to know that everyone is really there for you.