Healthy Hairdresser Hero, Megan Reynolds: Overcoming Adversity, Staying Positive and Giving Back
Hairdresser Megan Reynolds was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in 2010 while on the way to a University of Michigan football game. When we interviewed her in 2013, she was the local marketing manager for a Sport Clips Haircuts in Granville, Michigan. Her story is one of triumph over tragedy and she is an inspiration to anyone fortunate enough to know her.
“I started working at Sport Clips in 2008 as stylist and moved up to manager,” said Reynolds. After the accident, she was in a coma and her initial prognosis included severe head injury, bleeding on the brain, burns and back fractures. She was in the Intensive Care Unit for a month and then spent the next 10 months between hospitals and inpatient facilities. Once released from the hospital, she was in outpatient therapy five days a week.
“People stare because I’m in a wheelchair but I want to be viewed as a person who happens to be sitting in a wheelchair and not let the wheelchair designate or take over who I am. Everyone looks at you and they say, I’m sure you’ll get better, and my answer is I am better, I am ok and this is the new me. My long term goal is continued recovery and, God-willing, I’m going to move forward with my life.”
We wanted to follow-up with this hairdresser hero and asked Megan to let us know how she is doing, personally and professionally.
"Many things have changed, but the important ones, like my faith, family, and true friends are still the same. Not only have they remained, but our relationships are stronger than ever! I consider myself to be blessed with a life full of love and happiness! I am truly grateful for all the individuals that have continued to love, support and encourage me along the way.
"As time has gone on I have continued to learn more about the new me and I am now comfortable with my new normal. The saying goes, be confident in the skin you are in, well in addition to my skin I am confident in my chair. just an attempt at humor. I love to laugh. Laughter heals the soul. So does smiling and positive forward thinking.
"Speaking of staying positive and moving forward. Through a lot of hard work and effort put forward by my family, friends, Fellowship church family and the community I have a zero level, barrier free home. What that means is that my house is COMPLETELY ACCESSIBLE to me. I am so thrilled! I could not be more excited. I have lived here nearly three years now and I still have to pinch myself from time to time. What a dream come true!
"Along with my house came more independence which is a huge confidence booster in itself. Don't get me wrong I still gladly accept help when it is offered, but now I am able to do the majority of things independently. My home aka the Reynolds Ranch is located in Hudsonville, where I grew up. Literally my house is built in what use to be our family horse pasture. My parents have quite a bit of land so our houses are roughly a quarter mile apart. It is nice to be close to family. They are near by if I need help, but I do like my own space so I live by myself.
"In addition to a change of residence I also had a change in employment. I no longer work for Sport Clips, but they will always hold a near and dear place in my heart. I still consider the Sport Clips team as family and I communicate frequently with Stacey Patulski, the owner of the store I used to manage.
"I am now Marketing Manager & Events Coordinator for Legends Design Salon. I love working in the cosmetology field. I have always been drawn to the hair industry, atmosphere and environment. That is something I don't think is going to change.
"Not only do I love what I do and who I work for, but I also love the community. Jennifer, one of the owners of salon also has a passion for the community and giving back. So last year we created a fashion show to benefit local nonprofits and youth Ministries in the area. Now the fashion show is transforming into an annual event.
"In addition to giving back to the community I also like to spend time with youth organizations. I am a Youth Leader at my church, Fellowship Reformed, and am a guest speaker at Hudsonville schools, primarily the high school. In addition to continued therapy I volunteer as a peer support counselor for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. This is where I spent so much time recovering."