COVINGTON- Thursday was a big day for Mary Mayo. She left her house, alone, to make a surprise visit next door to see her dad on his birthday.
"I've pushed myself every day, one day at a time," she said.
Every day since June 13, 2007, when she and fiance' Beau Raimer were riding in a patrol car as part of the funeral procession for a fellow deputy.
A bad storm knocked a tree on top of the car, killing Raimer and leaving then-26-year-old Mayo paralyzed from the chest down.
"I gained a wheelchair and I lost a boyfriend and my best friend," she said, "So, you know, it'll be the anniversary of two horrible things."
Over the past decade, Mayo hit major milestones in her recovery with hard work. Then came a major setback, with a pressure sore that has left her bed-ridden for the past four years. Mayo's mission is to get back to where she was, and beyond. A specialized vehicle that she could wheel in and out of, and drive herself, would help her do that, but she said, "these vehicles that are adapted to handicapped people are so expensive. They range anywhere from $40,000-$50,000. That's just for the adaptations."
Friends have started a fundraising campaign in hopes that the community that stood behind mayo ten years ago will do the same again.
"This thing will give me freedom," she said, "It will give me independence. It will give me my life back."
A life she's slowly taking back on her own, one day at a time.
I f you'd like to help Mary with her recovery, head to her GoFundMe page- https://www.gofundme.com/paralised-sheriff-deputy-in-need