“Fractured But Not Broken” To Be Released July 10th; 16 Years After Accident (AUDIO/PHOTOS)
JASPER (Local Sources/Michelle Weidenbenner) – 16 years to the day after an accident in Colorado left her paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, Kelly Craig Schaefer will release a new book that tells the story of what happened that night and since,.
The book, co-written with her aunt, Michelle Weidenbenner, an award-winning and best-selling author, is titled. “Fractured Not Broken.
Weidenbenner says 19-year old Kelly had it all—a healthy and athletic body, a star basketball-player boyfriend, and a fun college life with close friends.
But everything changed when a drunk driver rendered her a quadriplegic the night of July 10, 1999.
Kelly was left with arms and legs that couldn’t move. She couldn’t walk, write, feed herself or comb her hair.
When she thought she couldn’t lose anything more—her boyfriend left her, unwilling to endure a life with a quad.
Weidenbenner says through her darkest days of loss and pain, Kelly’s family and community gathered together to push her forward, to help her persevere.
With their help, Kelly moved closer to God and toward a faith she’d never had. She is now a teacher at Jasper’s Holy Trinity Catholic School.
“Miracles come in many obscure moments,” Kelly said, now a teacher at Jasper’s Holy Trinity Catholic School.
“I spent most of my life awaiting my big break. I expected my miracle to be in the form of a pill, injection, or surgery that would enable my spine to heal and give me the mobile freedom I prayed for, but that didn’t happen.
Kristen Jongen’s quote says it all: “‘My miracle came unannounced, and in an odd package. It looked different from what I imagined–untimely, unexpected, unpretentious–yet it fit perfectly. Divinely constructed solely for me.’”
Fractured Not Broken is a memoir of loss and faith, but it’s also a love story that sounds like fiction.
The love story of course is how her husband Shawn was inspired by Kelly’s story, that he wrote a letter to her, and then traveled from his home in the St. Louis-area to Jasper to hand-deliver it himself to her house in Jasper. He’s been by her side ever since. They were married in 2009.
Weidenbenner, in an interview with NewsNow Dubois County, says it took Kelly years before she felt comfortable reliving what had happened for a book, but when she was ready, it was important to all involved to get it done…
The book has received some very special reviews already:
“Life has its tragic moments of defeat, setbacks, and fracturing for everyone. Kelly’s story proves, however, that individual momentum, personal progress, and genuine achievement can still be attained. Her courage and optimism are uplifting. Open these pages and experience the joy of ultimate victory.” —Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Author of Jesus in All Four Seasons
“This book has been a true encouragement to me. Thank you Kelly for sharing your story— the loss and the unexpected joy— so that each reader can be uplifted knowing there is a full, rich life available to those who lean in to our Lord Jesus.” —Renee Bondi, Award-Winning Singer and Songwriter
“This is a real life story of heroic virtue—especially of courage, humility, and generosity—a triumph of faith, hope and love. This story involves the very essence of the human spirit, family, and community. To know Kelly and her journey of miracles is to know that with God all things are possible.” —Most Reverend Charles C. Thompson Bishop of Evansville
This book will fracture the paradigms of the goals and expectations we set for ourselves and others. Kelly’s words will change how readers think of people with disabilities and bring hope to readers who have lost faith in finding true love….
Meanwhile, Schaefer will read excerpts from the book July 25, 7:00PM at VUJC’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Manufacturing Theater as part of the “Will Read and Sing for Food” show that night.
Weidenbenner says the book will be available locally at iCandy Salon and Spa and Krempp Lumber in Jasper.
It will also be available from online retailers Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Apple iBooks.
It is also available through Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25513299-fractured-not-broken