Seventy days after a freak diving accident left her unable to move, Jaime Carnucci returned home to Hooksett, New Hampshire, last week, walking through her front door in an incredible show of strength and determination.
— Jennifer Vaughn (@JvaughnNH) October 22, 2014
The 37-year-old mother of two broke her neck in August when she dove into a shallow lake -- the same she'd dived into countless times before -- but this time, she hit the bottom and injured her spinal cord, leaving her unable to move below her waist.
"I remember hitting the bottom of the lake and it was just a weird feeling," she recalled to Good Morning America. "I never felt any pain; it was just a ringing in my ears. I felt like I was floating."
Panicked friends held Jaime's paralyzed body steady in the water, and called an ambulance which whisked her into surgery that night. A followup surgery days later was successful, and even though she emerged without any ability to move her legs, her husband, Frank, remained optimistic, "looking for very small gains" every day.
While Jaime fought tirelessly to regain her strength, she says Frank was by her side throughout the entire ordeal.
"I have the best husband in the world. He was amazing. It really takes something like this to show how close. I have no words," she told ABC News. "He did everything I could think of and he never got tired of it and he was always there. He’s the hero here, not me."
— Madison Rising (@MadisonRising) August 26, 2014
Frank spent time updating family and friends on Jaime's progress via his Facebook page and started a Fundly campaign called "Carnucci Strong," which blossomed into a much larger movement.
— Jennifer Vaughn (@JvaughnNH) October 2, 2014
"It turned into not just pictures of Jaime, but people holding up signs with Carnucci Strong," Frank recalled to the Kennebec Journal. "It was just an onslaught of friends and family ... Our neighbors started making yard signs and bumper stickers. The next thing you know our neighborhood is covered in signs."
Through it all, Jaime kept fighting -- a fight that paid off one rainy day last week, when, for the first time since the accident, she made it home, walking through the door.