GAZELLE MAGAZINE Vol. 1 Issue 3. - Page 42

Beauty is More than Skin Deep Area woman triumphs over injuries By Erin Williams Of all the words to associate with twenty-eight-year-old Jamie Parker, the very last one that comes to mind is “lazy.” Three years ago, the O’Fallon resident was “working seven days a week” as a hair stylist and at a tanning salon, balancing a schedule that was nearly devoid of free time. “Crazy, but I liked it. I consider myself a workaholic,” she said. But, on April 17, 2011 - “probably the first Sunday that I’d had off in a couple months,” said Jamie - she decided to take a day to enjoy herself. She’d spent part of the day at a winery with friends. Later on, while taking a motorcycle ride with an acquaintance in the group, the afternoon took a different turn. “I was wearing a good helmet, but as we prepared to turn onto Highway 70, I remember him saying, ‘You’re as light as a feather - I can barely feel you back there,’” she said. “And I didn’t have time to answer because at that point the light turned green, and we took off.” In a matter of seconds, Jamie’s 102-pound body flew off the back of the motorcycle, sliding to land in the middle of the interstate. Completely conscious, Jamie said she remembers flying off and landing and rolling on the highway. And she remembers answering all the questions that the witnesses asked. She said she remained calm, probably because she was able to move her fingers and toes on command when one of the witnesses prompted her to do so. “I was moving them, looking at my hands, which were obviously dripping in blood,” she said. “I think that at that point whenever the witness said I was moving both my fingers and toes, in the back of my mind, I knew I wasn’t paralyzed, so I was really calm.” The paramedics arrived soon after and rushed Jamie to the hospital, where it was discovered that she had third degree road burns on both legs and a badly damaged left hand. “I didn’t realize that I was having a pity party for myself until I went to my first burn meeting and realized things could be a whole lot worse. So why are a few scars going to bring me down?” 40 GAZELLE STL SAVVY SOPHISTICATED SASSY