By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team
OKLAHOMA CITY - Beverly Kohl has spent the last 40 years of her life helping others as a nurse.
In retirement, she kept working as a volunteer in her church and community. She traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help out the community after Hurricane Gustav, and the trip changed Kohl's life forever.
Kohl was part of the relief team that cooked meals in giant mobile kitchens for workers and families who lost their homes.
"I was hot and I needed a breath of fresh air," Kohl said. "When I did, I apparently fell out the back of the truck, which is apparently a five or six foot drop."
Dr. Andrea Fraley, Kohl's doctor at Integris Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, said Kohl's fall caused significant damage.
"She suffered a relatively high cervical, meaning in the neck at C5 and 6, which injured the spinal cord," Fraley said. "Essentially that's affecting her arms, all of her trunk control, as well as her legs."
Janie Moseley is Kohl's oldest sister. She said not only is the family trying to adjust to their life-altering experience, they're also facing mounting medical bills. Before Kohl was transferred to the rehab center, her bills had already surpassed $700,000.
"We're probably now looking at about $800,000 and it's not over," Moseley said. "This is only three months. We have expenses like for her home. We're going to have to make a lot of changes for her home."
According to Moseley, if anybody can turn a negative from a positive, her sister can.
"She's the strongest person I know," Moseley said. "She smiles every day."
A family Web site has been converted to keep up with Kohl's progress. Donation arrangements of any type can be made at the Web site as well.