Mom Spots SUV Plunging Towards Cliff, Realizes Kids Are Inside & Makes Split-Second Decision
Marilyn Caylor 12/1/2017
Vacations are supposed to be filled with lots of fun and good times, and it certainly started out that way for Joy Veron. She was spending time with her family in Colorado's rugged Rocky Mountains, enjoying the beautiful scenery, when her kids suddenly ran ahead without her.
That's when Joy saw the danger they were about to face! The poor mom chased after her little ones as fast as she could, but it was too late. The wheels had already been set in motion, and Joy knew there was only one thing she could do to save her them.
Moms will do anything for their children, but Joy's courage was tested in a way that no parent should ever have to face. When she flung herself straight into the path of her worst fears, she didn't know just how much this one selfless act would change all of their lives forever.
The year was 1999, and the then 30-year-old Joy was enjoying one last look at the Colorado wilderness with her husband and three children, before they headed back home to Texas. Sadly, fate had other plans in store for them. In an interview with Oprah, Joy said:
"Oh, I just saw complete fear. I remember their little eyes were huge, looking at me with just like, help me. Do something."
Her kids, who were between the ages of two and seven at the time, suddenly sprinted ahead of the couple towards their SUV. When they jumped inside, the car had been parked precariously close to the edge of a deep ravine with the engines still running. Unfortunately, it somehow slipped into gear and started rolling towards the edge of the cliff, with the children still stuck inside!
Joy immediately moved into action, and threw herself in front of the runaway vehicle, just to put something in its path. The desperate mom tried to stop the 6,000-pound SUV with her hands, which of course she couldn't.
"I remember thinking, 'I didn't make it in time and I'm getting run over. I'm going to hear a crash pretty soon.'"
Joy remembers falling backwards and being pulled under the car. As the metal beast rolled over and crushed her body, she felt her back break. In that moment, she realized there was a good chance none of them would make it out alive.
Thankfully, Joy's brave efforts slowed down the forward momentum of the SUV, and her husband was able to engage the hand brakes just in time. But, it wasn't soon enough for poor Joy. Her body was shattered with multiple injuries, and after waking up in the hospital, she discovered that she could no longer move her legs.
"My family, they were a huge support. They're the reason I basically survived. They gave me the desire to keep living and to go on."
Joy didn't give up hope. In the years following the accident, she tried stem cell therapy in Portugal to regain mobility, but after many unsuccessful attempts at rehabilitation, Joy finally realized that she would never walk again.
Needless to say, it was a very depressing situation for Joy, to say the least. But, she finally decided that enough was enough, and it was time to stop feeling sorry for herself.
"I remember lying in my bed one day and being depressed and hearing my children playing outside. I remember thinking then, it's my choice. I can lie here and I can be depressed and I can miss out a lot in life. Or I could learn to walk again. Maybe not walk in the physical sense, but walk in life."
Taking baby steps into her new life is exactly what Joy did, and her kids are so proud of their amazing mother! In an Oprah: Where Are They Now? update show, Joy's youngest daughter, Annie, said:
"Honestly she hasn't let her wheelchair stop her from anything. I actually think she does more than most moms do."
If there's one thing that Joy has learned from her experience, it's that she can survive any curve ball that comes her way.
Watch the video below to find out more about what happened to Joy after the accident.