Cleo Pitts, 41, says February 27 was the day that changed her life. 

“I started to stop and I guess the guy behind me didn’t see what was going on, so he didn’t stop and hit me and I’m in a Chevy Spark which is about the size of a Prius and he’s in an F150.” said Cleo Pitts of Martinsburg.

And that accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that paralyzed Pitts from the waist down. On March 9, Pitts was transferred to Winchester Rehabilitation Center after having several surgeries. She has been working with a therapist who teaches and encourages her to adjust to her new reality. 

“It’s a long slow process, but there’s definitely been some progress, and they work miracles here.” Pitts says. 

Her occupational therapist, Kevin Maloney, says aside from the daily therapy sessions. Pitt’s perseverance has been a major factor in her progress.

“She has been determined to be the same person and that’s the thing that’s struck me with her and what I find is so incredible is that she’s been so resilient through this.” Occupational therapist Kevin Malony

Pitts also says a big motivation for her comeback has been her desire to attend a Bon Jovi concert on May 14, she says she bought the tickets in January and is not going to miss her favorite artist because of her injury.

“I’m laying in the hospital bed and we’re talking about all of this stuff that has to change and I’m like you know what guys, we’re still going to Bon Jovi.” Pitts says. 

Pitts says the sudden change in her life has caused her to realize the needs of those living with severe injuries, and she plans to use her positivity and her story to help others. 

“I could get mad and sad and just lay in bed and just not care, but that’s not going to get me anywhere, you have to keep moving forward.” Pitts says. 

Pitts says the rehab center staff chipped in to cover the expense of renting a wheelchair, van and dinner for the night of the concert.