Coral Springs Teacher Looks Forward To Walking Again After Getting Hit By Car
CORAL SPRINGS, FL – When Chrystal Samuel was hit by a car in her neighborhood last summer, the Coral Springs teacher was worried she would not walk again any time soon.
But the 31-year-old was just as concerned that her students at Renaissance Charter School at Coral Springs had a teacher the next morning.
As she was treated in an emergency room in the late evening hours, Samuel had her mother call the school to request a substitute teacher for her class.
“She was worried about her kids,” said Lynette Self, the school’s principal.
To Self and other school administrators, the sixth-grade math teacher has often put her students’ needs ahead of her own since she was struck by the speeding car as she went on a walk near her home in North Lauderdale.
Nearly nine months after a devastating injury to her left leg and pelvis, Samuel is back in a classroom, inspiring her colleagues and students with her determination, Self said.
“I’m used to being up and going,” Samuel said. “The kids are awesome. They don’t give me special treatment and I don’t want it.
Last week, a group of Coral Springs police officers and City Commissioner Nancy Metayer visited Samuel in her classroom to wish her a speedy recovery and thank her for teaching.
Samuel spent close to two months recovering in a hospital and has undergone seven surgeries.
She is still not walking. She relied on a wheelchair and crutches to get around in her school of 1,520 students. She gets physical therapy three times a week. Her sister helps her at home.
Her hope, she said, is to start walking with a cane this fall.
Teaching all day is tiring, she said. But interacting with students keeps her from thinking about her injuries.
In addition to dealing with her pain, she is also learning to be a middle school teacher. Until this year, she was a kindergarten teacher.
The Broward County native wants to eventually be on the therapy side of education, working as a school counselor.
But for now, Samuel just wants to get back to her old life and put the Aug. 25 crash behind her.
“Her spirits are high, and she’s doing great,” Self said. “She’s here every day. She doesn’t complain. She does her job.”