It would be July before she would return to teaching in a classroom.Her muscles atrophied from lying in a hospital bed, so Palagi started swimming and doing Cross Fit circuit training two to three days a week to build up her weakened core.That didn't stop the now-27-year-old teacher from moving past the three months she spent in a hospital bed and finding an ambitious new path for herself.
After her hospital stay, she was admitted to the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton to regain her mobility.
Barely out of rehabilitation in January and still on crutches, Palagi returned to work at the Easterseals Academy in Chicago, where she was placed on desk duty in the school office.
"She was determined not to let her disability get in her way."Her mother, Carrie Palagi, said what her daughter has accomplished in less than a year is "way beyond what I ever imagined.""I think she doesn't know she lost her leg," said Palagi, a resident of Naperville's Brookdale neighborhood for nearly three decades.
"It's a miracle; she's a miracle."Mom credits her daughter's strong-willed nature dating back to childhood as being key to her quick recovery and her ability to keep pushing boundaries even when she hits walls."Patience has been the biggest struggle," Dee Palagi said. I have to learn to be more patient."Palagi's ordeal started the afternoon of Sept.
Getting back onto a bicycle didn't happen until June, a challenge that was more physical than mental.
Palagi said she never equated the trauma that changed her life with riding a bike."Mentally I was really excited because (bicycling) was my thing," Palagi said. "I even tried new brakes."Many of her riding issues cleared when she found a way to attach her foot to the pedal."I always have been hyper vigilant of my surroundings, even before the accident, but especially now that my foot is clipped to the bicycle," she said.Lulworth is recognised as one of the best places in the UK to study coastal processes, geology, ecology and tourism.Its dramatic scenery helps to tell the story of 150 million years of the Earth’s history.Eleven months ago, the Naperville native was run over by a semitrailer while riding her bicycle in Chicago.Her body was left broken, with pins holding together her fractured pelvis, her elbow in need of reconstruction and her right leg amputated below the knee.Our education team, the Lulworth Rangers, welcome hundreds of student groups every year – from reception through primary and secondary education to university studies.