The Story of Isabella Picard

Superstar softball athlete Isabella Picard was the player the other teams were afraid to play against. Then one day, her immense intensity brought her into the head-on collision with another player that changed her life forever. Now, Bella works tirelessly to #BringBackTheRightSide.

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  1. (June 10th, 2015 — 3:34 p.m.) "I've been in rehab for 42 days now and they just told me I might be released next week. I wonder a lot of things at this very moment, I'm absolutely terrified actually. But I smell the ocean from the Boston Harbor outside my window and the only thing on my mind is a vision I have of myself in the future someday staring into the ocean on a beach somewhere on this planet and that is where I'll heal the most. My eyes will be brand new, my faith will be even stronger, and I'll look at the raw beauty of earth that God made and I'll see it in a way I've never seen it before. And it will heal me. PS...The new patient across the hall is outside in his wheelchair smoking a blunt right now, HAHA I'm telling. Jk, one love homie." –Bella Picard #rehabdiariez #visionsareREAL #FLday4 #bringbacktherightside
    (June 10th, 2015 — 3:34 p.m.) "I've been in rehab for 42 days now and they just told me I might be released next week. I wonder a lot of things at this very moment, I'm absolutely terrified actually. But I smell the ocean from the Boston Harbor outside my window and the only thing on my mind is a vision I have of myself in the future someday staring into the ocean on a beach somewhere on this planet and that is where I'll heal the most. My eyes will be brand new, my faith will be even stronger, and I'll look at the raw beauty of earth that God made and I'll see it in a way I've never seen it before. And it will heal me. PS...The new patient across the hall is outside in his wheelchair smoking a blunt right now, HAHA I'm telling. Jk, one love homie." –Bella Picard #rehabdiariez #visionsareREAL #FLday4 #bringbacktherightside
  2. Bella Picard of Upton, Massachusetts started her softball career at Blackstone Valley Technical High School in 2009. Though late to the game, Bella was among the best athletes BVT had ever seen. She was extremely athletic, outgoing, and an intense player. She was a force to be reckoned with. Bella gave her all and then some in any sport she played (including soccer that came to an end her junior year to focus on softball) and she was both admired and feared by her opponents. Bella was adored by her teammates, coaches and high school and surely left her mark. By Bella’s junior and senior year she was batting an outstanding .877, ranking among the top hitters in the nation. Her fielding percentage was a constant above .900 as she was capable of getting any ball coming in her direction. She was BVT’s lead off hitter. Along with her hitting ability she was extremely quick and could beat out most throws, even a ball hit in the infield!
  3. I remember after I made this play I picked goose crap out of my teeth for the rest of the game & thought about how there are very few things in life that I would voluntarily dive into a pile of animal shit for over & over again & this game will always be one of them. I miss you everyday #bringbacktherightside #iwillplayagain #godisgoodallthetime
    I remember after I made this play I picked goose crap out of my teeth for the rest of the game & thought about how there are very few things in life that I would voluntarily dive into a pile of animal shit for over & over again & this game will always be one of them. I miss you everyday #bringbacktherightside #iwillplayagain #godisgoodallthetime
  4. Bella had a large number of awards and recognitions such as being a four-year letterwinner, Colonial Athletic League All-Star all four years, she was named a 2013 MaxPreps Preseason All American. As a junior, led the nation in batting average with a .902 average during the regular season and connected on 10 home runs. Additionally, she was named to the Massachusetts All-State First Team, ESPN First Team All-Star and Metrowest Super Team All-Star in 2012, and was a two-time Central Massachusetts All-Star. Bella also played for 18U Worcester Hawks Gold. However awards were not limited to softball, she also received a varsity letter in soccer, earning Central Massachusetts All Star and Coaches Association Award in 2009 and 2011. As well as receiving three Metrowest Super Team All Star selections. So it was no surprise to anyone when Bella was recruited by Division I St Joseph's in Philadelphia, where she would go on to start as a freshmen.
  5. 'Tis the season #sjusb #letsfly #thwnd
    'Tis the season #sjusb #letsfly #thwnd
  6. As a freshman Bella appeared in 37 games playing mainly in right field. Bella started in 22 games and led all Saint Joseph's University for rookies in batting average (.279) having 19 hits scoring 12 runs and driving in 9 RBIs. She was tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 11 and finished tied for top fielding percentage in the nation at 1.000 with 23 putouts and two assists. Bella’s Sophomore year she was batting .346 with 9 hits, 5 runs scored 2 RBIs and 5 stolen bases, she would then have a season ending injury, but according to Bella, not a career ending injury.
  7. On April 28th, 2015, St. Joseph’s University traveled to Fordham University for a doubleheader. In the first game of the day, Isabella hit a single that landed her on first base. The next batter up hit a ball down the first base line, so Isabella took off towards seconds base. Prepping for a double play, Isabella slid head first into second base. Fordham’s shortstop came across the base to get ready to receive the ball, but collided with Isabella. The shortstop’s knee went straight into Isabella’s head and Isabella laid unconscious on the field. Even though she wore a helmet, Isabella was going so fast and forcefully into the bag that was collison was major. Isabella was able to walk off the field with some assistance, but admitted that the right side of her body was numb. The St. Joseph’s coach sent Isabella to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, against Isabella’s will who just wanted to go back in the game.
  8. At the hospital, Isabella had a CAT scan that showed the doctors what had happened to her body. Isabella broke her neck, fractured her fifth cervical vertebra, and sustained alarming swelling in her spine. The doctors at Lincoln Hospital sent Isabella to New York Presbyterian Hospital where she stayed for four days. The entire right side of Isabella’s body was sensation-less and there was terrible pain from her deck down to her spine. Lastly, Isabella was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for an extensive surgery.
  9. Push it bull #bringbacktherightside
  10. Following the surgery, Isabella was sent to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Until discharged on June 12th, 2015, Isabella did five hours of therapy every single day. While in rehab, Isabella progressed to be able to hold a softball, and do other small movements, like move her right shoulder. Throughout her time in the hospital and in rehab the doctors, nurses and therapists were always extremely supportive of Bella and her love for the game of softball.
  11. Taking the right arm for a swing (haha get it? Swing? I know right) #bringbacktherightside
  12. She has posted a number of videos with her attempting and succeeding at throwing balls, catching balls, swinging and even hitting balls in the hospital with the support of those around her. For someone in her condition the doctors and nurses were utterly surprised by her drive to want to get up and do these things.
  13. I FINALLY got my robot leg today which ironically marks 7 months from my accident. It's been one of the best days of my life filled with lots of tears, laughs, & straight up joy. Being at Spaulding today where I lived this past summer after my spinal fusion surgery, paralyzed & frustrated just trying to move one of my fingers was so emotional because today I walked the same paths I used to wheel around in my wheelchair everyday telling myself I WILL walk these same paths someday & I did just that. I stopped every patient that passed me in their wheelchairs outside & told them to never give up & to never settle for what their injury has left them with (they probably thought I was a psycho on the loose but I couldn't help myself) If it weren't for all of your love, support, & generosity I wouldn't be where I am today. Thank you EVERYONE for helping me take back my life. Thank you to my teammates for encouraging me everyday reminding me what the game of softball is all about. Just a few little setbacks coming my way soon with some operations that will be done on both of my legs to fix a lingering injury I've been dealing with since I was 14, but after that I'll be working harder than ever to recover from those surgeries & then continuing to recover from this spinal cord injury. All of the glory goes to my Father in Heaven, with God anything is possible #bringbacktherightside #jeremiah2911 #sjusb #spinalcordinjuryawareness #recoveryISpossible
  14. By November, Isabella shared a video of her walking, just seven months after the accident. Since her accident, Bella has gained back much, but not all of her mobility. She has received a "robot leg" as she calls it, that she wears like a brace. The "robot leg" assists her right leg in walking she is able to move around without needing to be pushed in a wheelchair.
  15. bring it on life, show me what ya got #bringbacktherightside
    bring it on life, show me what ya got #bringbacktherightside
  16. Throughout the entire process of Isabella’s recovery, she has kept her Instagram updated with her progress. Isabella has been an influential figure on Instagram for her driveness and strength during the past year of her life, with now over 7,000 followers. On April 24th, 2015, about a week after the accident, Isabella posted a picture of herself with her neck brace on with the caption “bring it on life, show me what ya got #bringbacktherightside.” This was just the first instagram of many that included that hashtag. Isabella’s Instagrams are filled with love and encouraging comments, many from strangers who have heard of her story.
  17. New year, same vision. Thanks for the memories 2015. & the tattoo. & the titanium plate in my neck. & I'll just stop there...#bringbacktherightside #imgoingtoplayagain
    New year, same vision. Thanks for the memories 2015. & the tattoo. & the titanium plate in my neck. & I'll just stop there...#bringbacktherightside #imgoingtoplayagain
  18. She credits her recovery to her faith and the endless support of her family, friends, and even strangers. Isabella is determined to get back on the softball diamond sooner than doctors believe. A very determined athlete and person, Bella has been featured in many articles and newscasts since her accident. People across the world have acknowledged Bella and supported her on her road to recovery. She vows that she will get back on that field again.
  19. It's been almost 7 months living in this beautiful struggle. "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 #pushedoffthatcanetho #bringbacktherightside #sjusb #THWND
  20. Determined to get back on the field, Bella has been practicing her glove skills. Driving is a key skill that shortstops must have, which is the position Bella played before her accident. As seen in the video, Bella uses her cane and robot leg to thrust herself into the air to catch the ball. Months after an accident like the one Bella endured, most athletes would not be practicing diving on the field. Bella's determination is one of her attributes that sets her apart from the rest.
  21. Amazing day spent with the team and @isabellapicard seeing her throw out the first pitch! You are such an inspiration, keep up the great work Bella, love you.❤️ #bringbacktherightside
  22. Bella was honored at a USA softball game at Moody Park in Ewing, New Jersey. She had to travel down to New Jersey and got to meet the whole team in the process. While there for the day Bella left a mark on the team. She inspired all of them with her dedication and drive to heal and get back out there. With Bella's stats and determination for playing again, she could one day be playing alongside some of these girls representing the USA softball team. The Women's USA team is an organized team starring some of the best softball players in the nation.
  23. Benny The Jet(lagged) Rodrigues hard at twerk #bringbacktherightside
    Benny The Jet(lagged) Rodrigues hard at twerk #bringbacktherightside
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