When she was eight months pregnant, Ellie Ennas was in a car crash that took the life of her unborn child, her ability to walk and even talk.
She suffered incomprehensible trauma, but in the five years that followed Ellie took steps toward healing and started working toward making the world better for others with similar struggles.
That journey is why the 23-year-old nominee in the courage category of this year’s Community Leader Awards.
Ellie attends a Peer Support Group at Brain Trust Canada, where she and others share their stories and successes and help each other move forward with the knowledge that they are not alone.
Her heartbreaking and inspiring journey also earned her a place this November in a one-day national forum for youth with disabilities and youth who have life experience, work experience or academic experience related to disability.
The event in Ottawa is part of the government of Canada’s consultation process to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation.
All of this forward momentum was pulled from the deepest loss.
” lost my daughter and all throughout my recovery I had the knowledge had I not been pregnant during my accident I wouldn’t have survived —the extra blood supply and the hormone progesterone is very good for brain injuries,” she recalls.
“So my motivation is living for two.”
And as that life for two progresses, Ellie is keenly aware and grateful for those who have helped her.
“It’s kind of funny that this is a community leadership award,” she says.
“Because me, I suffered a horrific injury, yes. But I did not have the courage on my own to move forward. It’s my community that supported me and helped me all the way through.”