The only thing predictable about life is how consistently unpredictable it can be.
Jordan Bone from Norfolk, England, knows all about this firsthand. One day in 2005, when she was a 15-year-old high school student, she was walking along a road with a friend when a car pulled up with two teenage boys inside. The driver was 17 years old and had just gotten his license. He offered the girls a ride, which they accepted despite their better judgement.
When the car started moving, Bone grew nervous. As the car accelerated and the music blared, her anxiety continued to grow. The car hit a puddle which caused it to skid out and flip over.
Everyone got out of the car—everyone except for Bone, who was unable to move.
“The longer I was laying there, the more I realized that I think I’m paralyzed,” she said in a 2013 video. “I felt like I saw a light and thought I was gonna go and I just remember saying ‘I don’t wanna die. I’m 15 years old.'”
She was immediately rushed to the hospital and then transferred to the Princess Royal Spinal Unit, where she stayed for six months.
When she was finally able to return to the outside world, she did so as a quadriplegic with no feeling in her fingers or legs.
“At 15 I was finally getting more independent,” she explained. “To have that taken away from you was so difficult.
“You have to have people around 24/7. I don’t feel like I ever have privacy now. Everyone knows everything about me.”
Bone was extremely depressed for a few years after the accident. Her hands couldn’t open or close, making many basic tasks impossible. Yet, over time, she taught herself how to work around her disability and learned to do make-up better than most non-disabled people.
“I can’t dress myself or do my own hair, so to be able to do my own make-up is ‘my thing’,” she quipped in a 2015 video.
Now she’s doing YouTube make-up tutorials each with thousands of views.
It took her a long time to get to this point and there were many bumps in the road along the way, but she did it.
“It was so hard but the perseverance was so worth it in the end. If only I knew back then,” she said in the same video, reflecting on the years since her accident.
“Tears would fall. Frustration would drive me crazy. I wouldn’t leave the house because I would drop mascara on my face and down my clothes and I wondered ‘Why me? Why me?’ but I persevered.”
The video shows many clever solutions she came up with to help her put on make-up. For example, she uses her mouth to hold her brushes at just the right angle so she grasp them, or to open mascara and eye-liner.
“My hands haven’t been able to move in 10 years but I taught myself a new way of doing makeup. So, if something is standing in your way, maybe it just means trying a different way.”
A big part of why Bone does what she does, is to inspire others to let them know that, no matter what they’re facing in life, they can push through it.
In May 2017, she opened up with a tell-all book called My Beautiful Struggle, which details her accident, recovery, and career from that point onward. The book has since become a best seller. In her 2015 video of the same name, she touched on something key to her book’s success:
“Showing the vulnerable you isn’t always easy but know that you’re amazing and know that you’re beautiful no matter what.”
— Red Hare (@RedHareDigital) May 4, 2017
Bone hopes that through her videos, public appearances, and writing she will open the door for more disabled people to gain public attention. She wishes to reach out to as many people as possible and change the way they perceive disability.
“In the future, I just want to reach more people—I don’t think we see enough disabled people on TV. It would be great to show people that we may have a disability but we are still human. We can still be successful and are just the same as everyone else,” she told Meaww.
“Like contouring and highlighting teaches us: Where there is darkness, there is also light… No matter what hardships you’re going through know that, even in the darkest times, there will always be a light shining brighter”