Healthy Impressions

‘It’s been a long road’

Written by Theresa Campbell

Faith and friends help a single mom cope with challenging obstacles.

Kathryn Borowsky was juggling life as a single mother of four children, including a disabled child in a wheelchair, when she was injured in a horrific car accident on her way home from work—the same day her company shut down.

“It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I don’t know how I survived it,” Kathryn, 57, of Tavares, recalls of the collision in 2000 on her last day at the former Boys Ranch. “I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to die, I’m going to die and there is nothing I can do about it.’”

Luckily, paramedics arrived in time to airlift her to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Kathryn had surgery to insert rods in one leg and the ankle of another. She had a concussion, needed 22 stitches in her head, and went through rehabilitation to learn to walk all over again.

The most heart-wrenching aspect was being separated from her children, Kristin, Troy, Katie, and Kayla.

“I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I’m thankful for perspective I gained from it, the appreciation for everything that I have,” she says.

The Tavares Middle School reading teacher also is grateful for the nurses who come to her home to care for her youngest child, Kayla, 25, who has cerebral palsy and was born with cytomegalovirus, a virus similar to chickenpox that goes through the placenta and can cause brain damage. The cytomegalovirus diagnosis was made when Kathryn was seven months’ pregnant.

Over the years, friends and faith have been her rock as a single mom.

“I surrounded myself with a village, mainly my church, the people that I knew loved me and people who loved my children,” she says. “It was love in action, for sure.”

Books that motivate me:

“The Bible. I read it every day. I also love devotionals with Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer, Priscilla Shirer. To put in the positive, lift myself up, and hopefully have something to give other people.”

Advice to young moms:

“Take the time to read to your child, even if it’s 10 minutes. Get books that you can have conversations about; talk about the topics that are interesting to them that you can throw in a little life lesson.”

Be a friend:

“Surround yourself with good people. If you want a friend, be a friend. Even for a minute, be there. Reach out to the core people that you can go to with anything: your good, bad, and ugly; the people you know are going to tell you the truth. They were the ones who told me that it’s going to be OK. ‘You can do this. You’ve got this.’”

About the author

Theresa Campbell

Originally from Anderson, Ind., Theresa worked for The Herald-Bulletin for many years. After experiencing a winter with 53 inches of snow, her late husband asked her to get a job in Florida, and they headed south. Well known in the area, Theresa worked with The Daily Sun and The Daily Commercial prior to joining Akers.
“I finally have my dream job. I’ve wanted to work for a magazine since I was a teenager, and I’m very excited to be here,” Theresa says. “There is such positive energy at Akers that it’s infectious.”
Theresa has three grown daughters—Julia lives in San Francisco, Emily is in Austin, Tex., and Maria is at the University of Central Florida.

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