PORTAGE, Mich. — (April 24, 2014) “It`s almost like losing a best a friend or something because you are losing part of you and you feel that sadness in it,” said Marissa Barry of Portage.
Barry is talking about the amputation of her right foot.
Barry had went walking to clear her head after a tough day at school in December of 2013, she became disoriented and got lost in the woods after dark.
She became lost and was found by utility workers the next morning, suffering from hypothermia.
The last time we talked to her in January, it was blackened and bandaged from severe frostbite.
Since then, things have drastically changed.
Barry received a new foot and new hope..
“This is my first prosthetic and I am very excited about it,” said Barry.
With the help of physical therapy, she’s been able to start walking again, sometimes with her dog, Cooper.
She feels blessed for the chance to do it over again.
“It is a gift from some higher power,” she said.
The nerves that were once damaged in her hands, causing them to curl, have now come back to life with physical therapy as well.
Simple acts like tying her shoe are again something that she is proud to do.
“I can write, I can type I can text, I can do all sorts of things now,” said Barry.
The next obstacle she hopes to overcome, running.
Her stepfather, Chuck Hoehn, pushed her to the finish in a wheelchair during this year’s color run in Kalamazoo.
She hopes to be running on her own outside of therapy sessions by May, 31.
“I just want to wake up, put on my jogging outfit and go for a run but I just have to be patient,” said Barry. “I`m in a harness…So, I`m running-ish.”
Family and friends are gathering donations to throw her a fundraising dinner Friday at Portage Central High School.
They are raising money for another prosthetic foot that might allow her to run better and march in the drum-line again next fall.
She is sharing her gratitude for those that have helped her as she moves forward.
“There`s so many people I want to thank. There`s my friends, my family, my school, so many people,” said Barry. “It was a hard struggle to get to that happy point. It took me a while.”
“I finally got to it,” she said. “You just got to find the positive thing in life. You have to find that positive thing in it. Even if it`s small or big, you have to find that in any situation in life.”
Barry’s fundraising dinner will take place Friday, April 25, 2014, at Portage Central H.S. in the commons area from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.
Food is being donated by Franco’s Sub-Station in Portage and Italian Pizzeria and Cole’s Bakery in Muskegon.
Other prizes have been donated from local businesses for a silent auction.