Web Developer and ocean addict


I guess this is where we get a little more personal and you get to know the nut behind these words, right? Well, here is the bio I have on my business website, with some modifications to explain a little more on how I ended up a quad, etc.

I was born in Venezuela and raised between there and the United States, which is where I call “Home”. I was introduced to the ocean when I was a month old and grew up with the sea as my playground; in fact, recreational freediving was one of my favorite things to do when vacationing or going for weekend trips to the beach until life changed in the most unexpected way.

It was Easter of ’88, I was spending the week with my Dad and a bunch of other people. We had gone to Paparo, one of Venezuela’s popular beach destinations. As with every vacation, we’d spend our days at the beach playing and having fun; on our third day there – a Monday morning – we were playing in the water and decided to stand on each other’s hands and dive over their head. All was fine until I did my second jump, a perfect straight dive right into… the sand. Because of the rip current, water had pulled back to about waist height, giving me no depth to turn as I went in.

The moment my head hit the sand, a loud pounding metallic sound echoed through my ears, and a second later I was floating on my belly. I could hear people calling my name and telling me to stop playing around while I was holding my breath, unable to move at all and clueless of what had just happened.

An eternity later someone lifted me and started running towards the shore; my long hair was all over my face and I couldn’t breathe; I remember being transferred to my Dad’s arms who carried me to the sand and laid me down. Lifeguards and a whole bunch of people surrounded me shortly after, asking me questions and talking to each other, yet I had such a strong headache that I couldn’t focus much, plus one of my arms felt as if it was missing; actually, my entire body was missing, but for some reason I kept calling out asking about my arm.

I remember being immobilized and the lifeguard nearly panicked as the closest ambulance was long ways out, then someone offered to use their truck. I was taken to the nearest ambulatory where I was given some medication for the pain, but I was not allowed to drift away into sleep. People kept talking to me and so forth until a helicopter arrived and I was airlifted to Caracas.

From that point on my memory is somewhat vague and what I do recall does not offer a better perspective, so let’s leave it at this: I was placed in traction (2 screws drilled into my skull) with no sedation; I was then operated on 8 hours later.

I had suffered a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) at the cervical level of c4/c5. While my injury was considered “incomplete”, this happened in Venezuela at a time where there was very little knowledge and/or understanding of Spinal Cord Injuries, as well as zero liability to professionals in the medical field; therefore, after undergoing surgery without enough time in traction and without the presence of all of the specialists needed to ensure a successful outcome, the damage done to the spinal cord was severe enough to paralyze me from my chest down and take sensation away.

In 1990, I went to Canada for intensive rehab at Lyndhurst Hospital as I couldn’t sit up straight, use my arms nor do anything by myself; I spent my days strengthening whatever muscles were showing signs of life and re-learning how to use my arms; then, I’d spend nights taking all available classes within the computer field, learning about the different aspects of hardware and software.

We returned to Venezuela 5 months later where we lived for the next few years. By my early 20’s, we had moved back to Florida (where I lived as a child) and I started sidetracking from regular programming. As the “World Wide Web” continued to grow, I found myself fascinated by Web Development and its potential to deliver amazing visuals using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) along with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). So, in order to properly design a website from scratch, I took more graphic design classes, updated my skills in Adobe Illustrator, fell in love with Adobe Photoshop, experimented with Macromedia Flash (back when it was the “in” thing), and devoured all knowledge available on HTML and CSS. As time has passed, I’ve furthered my knowledge by learning PHP, JavaScript and so on (not going to bore you with too much geeky stuff), and have found that I’m not highly fond of back-end development.

In spite of my addiction to computers and technology, and though I use wheels as my preferred method of mobilization, I still LOVE the ocean and all of its wonders. This is why I became a certified Scuba Diver in 2011. This accomplishment opened the doors for me to submerge into the underwater world and finally feel “at home” once again. In 2014 I did my Advanced Open Water as well as Nitrox certification when I became a recipient of the 2014 Women Divers Hall Of Fame Award (WDHOF).

But not everything in life is play, right? We started Digital Web Academy a couple of years ago as a family business, we wanted to expand our services to provide local and online training to different types of individuals, from personal advancement classes in basic computer skills, smartphone usage, etc. to small business training seminars on online marketing, social media management and more. Yes, we are quite ambitious with our long-term goals for DWA, and now this blog too!

So there you have it, my story in less than 1000 words.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”

I Can and I Will

As a quad, one of my biggest issues when participating in any sport is endurance.

Let’s talk about the stationary handcycle I use and why I like it.

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