Annette Ross, the author of memoir Where Fairy Tales Go, would never believe that life could take a sudden turn the day she was to deliver her second child.
She married Bill Ross, former football star and assistant coach in the NFL and life became a fairy tale. It was smooth sailing, the couple living their formative years as partners, making plans for their newly acquired home in Connecticut.
It was when they moved that Annette revealed the news that she was expecting a second child to Bill.
“We were transitioning into a new place where we thought we would build a family and be for the rest of our lives. And then all of a sudden, she announces that she is pregnant with Anna, which was wonderful,” said Bill. “And that’s when it happened,” he added.
“My water broke I think around 11 o’clock at night and then I took a shower… I remember going into the shower, saying a prayer of birth and delivery to the Blessed Mother and that was my last time standing.”
Annette Ross became paraplegic after an epidural procedure went wrong. She has been living with a spinal cord injury ever since.
I felt a really striking pain in my legs when they injected the chemical into my back… I knew right away it wasn’t right.”
Many years later and five beautiful daughters in tow, Annette is still living her dream, taking one day at a time.
Just as any person undergoing a major change and a trauma in life, she had to reassess her identity and the way other people see her.
She was scared that people would pity her, and that they would instantly define her as a disabled woman, forgetting the fact that first and foremost she is a mother, a wife and a bioethics researcher.
Annette had to overcome a lot of obstacles, both figurative and literal. Time has helped her cope.
“It has been a long process, and I often wonder if I have come to terms with it, or if that is possible,” she stated for wingsforlifeworldrun.com.
She said love is the only way to push forward.
“I was fortunate in that I am naturally positive. I have always been resilient, and I strongly believe in love. Love helps me maintain a broader perspective.”
Bill feels exactly the same.
“You know, I love her with all my heart and the kids and I know it’s not easy but we are all here for each other and that’s what is gonna help us get through this to the next half of the adventure,” says Bill.
Regarding her book, Annette says she wrote it “to write her way out of the situation” as well as for her daughters. Writing the book has put her in peace.
“It means a lot to me because everything’s in it. I feel like when I am older I’ll go back at it and realize how everything was and how my mom dealt with everything,” said one of their daughters, Ingrid Rossi.
“I am so glad I finished it, just for that alone. For them.”