‘I am a walking miracle’
Simone Howard is thanking God today for sparing her life from a March 8, 2008 motor vehicle accident where rescuers had to use a Jaws of Life tool to cut her from the wreckage.
Among the many serious injuries she suffered were multiple skull fractures, brain damage, nerve damage, a damaged voice box and throat, internal bleeding, bruised bladder and spleen, loss of sensation in some areas of her neck, face, arms and legs, a twisted face, impaired vision and speech impediment.
Howard said, as part of her recovery, she was transported from one hospital to another for various corrective surgeries and had to endure three years of follow-up visits and physiotherapy.
“My recovery was very emotional and challenging and sometimes getting help to simply lift things, or even to sit up straight would be upsetting to me because I wanted to do these tasks myself as I usually did. However, over time I understood that sometimes when things change, I have no control over it,” Howard shared with Family and Religion. She said she eventually learnt to accept and live with it as her new norm in the same way we now have to adjust to the protocols in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Howard views her scars as a survivor’s reminder of 13 years of testing. She said she has won the battle for her life and is now living healthy and running a successful business.
Looking back on her ordeal, she said it was a simple reminder that God is always in control and once you are chosen, your path has to be aligned with Him.
Howard, who gave her life to the Lord at the age of 17 and was baptised, said over the years, she had drifted from God, but is now thankful that He never gave up on her.
“After my accident, I became much more spiritually aware than before. However, there were still some lingering worldly loose ends that had me bound, and I was not matching up to my full potential with God,” she shared.
However, it was not until last year when Howard had another wake-up call – a second near-death experience where she thought she was going to die from a serious infection, that she said she got back on track.
“In those moments, paired with the whole COVID-19 pandemic, I really had to get back on track with recommitting my life to God. God is first in everything I do and if something doesn’t sit well with my spirit, then I believe it’s not aligned with God. To date, I remind myself daily that no matter what, even if I fall off, I just need to get back up and continue my walk. We are all humans, and like Romans 3:23 says, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” she pointed out.
Grateful for a second chance at life, Howard is using her time as a mentor and wellness coach to reach out to others to inspire them.
With a personal commitment to make a difference in the lives of others in the country, she volunteered with the country’s top charitable organisations and also with the Young Men’s Christian Association as a teacher’s assistant and a young boys’ coaching mentor.
With a desire to impact the youth, Howard has also partnered with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security under their Social Intervention Programme, where she offers jobs to young adults giving them training and work experience through her company, Sta-sh Beauty Boutique Salon and Day Spa and Sta-sh JourneyJa, Health and Wellness Coaching Weight Management and Meal Preparation.
‘I thank my God every day for another day of life as I am a walking miracle. My life journey now, being a business owner, beauty therapist and a health and wellness coach, is aimed at growing, helping, inspiring and motivating others to be a better version of themselves and to live a more holistic way of life in the best way I can.”