Amy Hansen grew up in West Jordan Utah. As a young girl she loved to hang out with her friends and sing and dance. On June 23, 1992 at the age of 16 that all changed. Amy was sitting on the front porch of a friend’s house talking and having fun when an 18 year old boy decided to pull a .22 calber rifle out of the car and began to mess around with it. He pointed the gun at her as it discharged and shot her in the face from point blank range. The bullet hit her back tooth and shattered into many small pieces which then lodged in the very top of her spinal canal. Instantly Amy became a quadriplegic. Her parents were told they would need to begin planning for her funeral and she was given less than a 1% chance of surviving the first night! After making it through the first night Amy remained on full life support for 2 months. During this time she was unable to move anything from the nose down. Her longtime friend Matt would visit the hospital every night and then following his own injury to his arm began to spend countless hours at the hospital helping Amy with her therapy needs. It was here in the rehab department that Matt and Amy officially began dating.
Amy worked very hard in therapy on a daily basis for several years in order to regain as much function as she could all the time with Matt by her side. In September of 1997 Matt and Amy officially married in the Salt Lake Temple. They are blessed to have 2 children – Zoie age 18, and Devan age 14.
Amy has made the most of her life, but has been limited in her mobility for the past 25 years. Amy never regained movement in her right arm and has relearned to perform many daily tasks with her left hand only. She has regained some movement to both legs and is able to walk for short distances by holding onto Matt’s hand for balance, but must use a wheelchair for long distances. Matt went on to study physical therapy and later graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Utah in 2005. Matt became employed at Neuroworx - a specialty clinic for spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders which is where he first met Tabitha from Pawsitive Pawsibilities. When the idea was presented for his own wife to receive a service dog he was very humbled and excited. Amy has been an avid animal lover her whole life and is so excited for the special bond that her and Hero will soon have! Hero is being trained to assist Amy in her walking, wheelchair mobility, retrieval of objects from the floor and to turn lights on and off. Amy cannot wait for the companionship and independence that Hero will bring once he is placed full-time in our home!