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My cousin Virginia

Dec 29th, 2011 | 14 Comments

I wanted to write a post about my cousin Virginia, who, on November 22nd, was kicked in the face by a horse. I wouldn’t normally do this and realize that accidents happen every day, but Virginia has been an inspiration. She has always loved horses and has ridden them all of her life. She even went to school on a riding scholarship to Virginia Intermont. While at home this Thanksgiving she was letting out the horse she loves to ride, but it got spooked and kicked her square in the face breaking her whole nose, crushing her left eye socket, and squashing the bridge at the top of her nose. Her brain also started bleeding because of a piece of bone fragment that was jarred during the whole fiasco. She has had three surgeries thus far, with at least two more to be scheduled to repair her face. Did I mention that she will probably have to lose her right eye? She just turned 20.

Virginia following one of her surgeries in the hospital

I went and visited her in the hospital a couple of days after the incident, and it was tough for me to even look at her. But through all of this she has kept such a positive attitude. I cannot imagine having anything like this happen to me and lord knows it would be tough for me to keep such positive energy towards life less than a week after a game changing incident. I mean I worry about when I get a hangnail, or if I cut myself shaving, but this girl just had her whole face rearranged and it is nothing! She was even joking around about the food quality, and how they didn’t have the best channels. Not one complaint along the lines of “Whoa is me!” or “My life is over!” I am trying to picture myself in the same position, and even now, being years older than she is, I would still be worried about what my face looks like.

Virginia is not concerned and is rolling with the punches (or kicks if you will), and is already talking about riding horses again. The doctors said that she wouldn’t be able to ride until this summer (2012), if ever, but Virginia will get right back on the horse that kicked her sometime in January, less than 2 months since the occurrence.

Getting back around horses a month after the accident. Shown here with her sister Nancy.

Other than horses, Virginia’s true passion is singing. (She even trained under the same voice coach as The Biebs himself). One thing she says that she is thankful more than anything is that when the horse kicked her, it missed her throat (and by the grace of God, her brain!) so that she can still rain down beautiful notes on everyone that has the pleasure of being around her. She has a wonderful voice and can definitely go far in that industry. Hell, she can go far in any industry or truly do anything she wants to do, because nothing can shake her. You knock her down, she will get back up. You kick her eye out, she’s got another one to see and is not going to let it bother her. Inspiration.

My goal is to use the connections I have made with Sweet Home Alabama to get her introduced with some of her favorite country singers including Carrie Underwood and Lauren Alaina. If someone does come across this blog post and thinks they want to help Virginia out with her dream, or just send words of encouragement please contact Feel free to share this post to someone who might need a pick-me-up

Thank you all for taking the time to read about a truly incredible person in my life. An inspiration to my family and me, and to also the world. We can all learn a lot from someone like Virginia. I know I have. I truly appreciate the support that you gave as over 600 of you retweeted my tweet request to please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. It shows that there really are good people out there and it means the world to Virginia and my family!

Hanging out with Virginia and her family (my aunt, uncle, and cousins) this Christmas

14 Comments on “My cousin Virginia”

  • Hanna Savoie December 29th, 2011 4:36 pm

    This was so touching! I hope she stays strong and keeps moving forwarded.

  • Hollie Belcher December 29th, 2011 4:36 pm

    Tribble & Virginia,

    This is such an inspiration to me and the rest of the world. This goes to show how the grace of God works in the craziest of ways. Thank you Virginia for your positive attitude and praise God for your recovery!

    God Bless! (:

  • Marianna Mata December 29th, 2011 4:52 pm

    I’m not totally sure what I can do :) I’m 14… BUT! I know I can pray for her and I will!

    I know how it is have a passion in life and obstacles pop up. It’s not a great experience, but that’s when faith in the Lord comes in. Having Him and accepting Christ into my life was and is life changing. So I’ll turn to Him, for anything especially times like these.

    I just wanted to share my favorite Bible verse, it has really helped me through times like these. :) It’s Jeremiah 29:11, I found it through another inspiration of mine, Bethany Hamilton, who went through an experience very similar to Virginia’s as a teenage girl.

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    God Bless and your family is in my prayers!

  • Lindsay Hasbrouck December 29th, 2011 5:04 pm

    I’m literally blown away by the strength and courage of this girl. I am a horse lover myself and always have been, but still I cannot imagine suffering that kind of an injury and maintaining a positive attitude. I had a hard enough time dealing with a broken foot, and I thought that was life changing. Virginia was definitely put on this Earth by God to be an inspiration to her family, friends and anyone that reads her story. I just can’t get over the impact of reading that story had on me. This is one of those stories that makes you stop and think about all the gifts you have in life that you sometimes fail to recognize. Keep up that attitude girl! I wish you all the best and I will be rooting for you to get that singing career! I personally will be praying you get that singing career opportunity because there is always room for more people to share their musical gift while being an inspiration to the world. By the sounds of it, you ARE that girl!

  • Kay Davis December 29th, 2011 5:12 pm

    She is one incrediable young lady and I pray that someone will see her as a wonderful singer and introduces her to Nashville and can get her singer career off to a great start.
    Will she have to have more sugeries in the months to come. If so Ipray for her.

    God was with her that day!

  • Kelsey December 29th, 2011 5:22 pm

    How inspiring!

  • Roger Rhoades December 29th, 2011 6:12 pm


    I have followed you thru both of the Alabama series and greatly admire your poise and resolve.

    Virginia has had a serious injury and with the Lord’s help and prayer will resume her life.

    Keep on providing the christian character you have to an often loss world.

    Roger R.

  • Danielle December 29th, 2011 6:12 pm

    Im Danielle and Im from Clemson, SC!

    Your cousin Virgina, i want to first say that I will pray for her! There is nothing like a stronged willed girl that has faced adversity. I wanted to tell her that she is not the only one out there that has had something in their life go unexspected. for her to “grab the bull by the horns” and go for it. I have faith that she still has many chances and talents to go very far and I dont even know her. I didnt get kicked in the face but a horse, but i did have major heart surgery when i was 19 (two years ago). I was at College playing softball and started feeling real bad over time. I was then taken to the doctor to find out that my heart was 35% in strength and it was enlarged and my left side was failing. and that the only option was to do surgery. I almost didnt make it through surgery on the first day, they had to go back in the 2nd day to finish up the surgery. There went all my hard days of prac. and money to make it to play softball down the drain, but i knew that the big man upstairs had plans for my life.

    I now have a pacemaker and defibrilator at the age of 22. I may not play softball or my sports anymore but i have picked up a new hobby and I shoot professional archery for Mathews Solocam. I compete all over the USA for the world Championship in AL in August. I have to watch what i do, where i go, because my defibrilator can shock me.

    I want to tell Virgina, to not LET ANYTHING STAND IN THE WAY OF HER DREAMS. God didnt get her throat because maybe her path to success is to sing her heart away. He didnt get both eyes so she could still guide that horse with one eye. She is truely blessed and I will think of her everyday and how we both are inspirations to our generation. WE are the same age and both have the oppritunity to inspire the younger kids that have faces with moutains in their life.

    I pray for strength, wisdom, and healing to your cousin and I know that God has might plans for her life!

  • frank December 29th, 2011 8:59 pm

    haha, by the grace of god, he allowed it to happen.

  • Emily December 29th, 2011 10:11 pm

    Virginia and your family will be in our prayers! Her story is awesome!

  • Debbie December 29th, 2011 10:18 pm

    Thank you for your kind words of inspiration about your cousin. In life we are not all born complete, there may be bumps in the road. But it is with faith and support of family that we get through these hurtles in life. I always say when you see someone different on the street, instead of staring, smile and say hi, we are human to. I was born with out ankles and only 1 bone below the knees on both legs. With the help of Shriners Hospitals for Chrippled Children I am able to walk today 57 years later. They amputated both legs below the knee. It is how you look at yourself and life in general. I grew up in the days where I was different. No proms, and very little dates. All because of my prothesis. I have done many things in life, like building things, flooring etc.. Things that some people even my husband wouldn’t tackle. It isn’t uncommon for me to just push my prothesis’ aside and move around on my butt on the floor. My life changed again 8 years ago. When I was burned by a perm from a salon. Now having to shave my head daily to try and keep the pressure headaches at a tolerable level. I have learned to live through the pain. And to have the mind set of being stronger than the pain itself. I wish just one beautiful person, man or woman would walk in my shoes for just one day. It isn’t a cup of tea. Every day I fear one of my legs is going to break, and then my legs will have to be amputated above the knee. But I have the strength and faith to carry on, because that is how my family brought me up. I was no different than my sisters, and was never treated differently. It is a shame that so many people don’t take the time to get to know one’s soul and heart, before having judgement on one’s outter looks. Beauty is only skin deep, true test of one’s character if from the soul. It can take just seconds in ones life, by any type of accident which will totally change your outter appearance. I tell people to look in the mirror who do they see, do they like that person. I had a friend who couldn’t be around me with a shaved head. My opinion was if you can’t be there for a friend in need at the worst of times. Then you are no friend after all. Everyone needs to think about how they would react to something happening to them. Could they handle being different. Remember our soul is deep within our heart. I wish more people who are so fixated on the outter appearance of themselves, or a girl/boy friend must be eye candy. That they take a minute in their life, to ask themselves these important questions. Could you handle being different. Maybe you don’t want to be known as the ego maniac, only you can change who you are. Life is life no matter what. I am proud of your cousin, for she truly has the spirit within herself to make it through every pain, of every surgery. I know I’ve been there. No one can ever say to us. I understand what you are going through. No one understands unless you have experienced the same thing. But with that said, I have to say, I do understand her pain. Because I know the daily pain I go through each and every day in my head, with pressure headaches, nausea and nerves that feel like they are on a race track. But I have learned to push through that pain in order to have a life. I am sure she has to. Tell her I send her all my love and hugs, that she continues to hold her head up high and be strong. God Bless her family and your.
    Hugs Debbie

  • Josie December 29th, 2011 10:53 pm

    Stay Strong Virgina!

  • Lynne Daly December 30th, 2011 3:23 pm

    I’m a friend of your mom’s and you absolutely have her spirit which is one I have always admired. So proud of your toughness! Hang in there – attitude is a huge part of the recovery process. Am thinking of you and your family and sending best wishes towards a speedy recovery.

    Lynne Daly

  • Jennifer McCarley January 1st, 2012 2:53 am

    WOW! What a strong and inspirational woman Virginia is! She is a lucky girl to have you try and help her acchieve her dreams! I hope Virginia acchieves and surpasses all of her dreams because she deserves it! God Bless!

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Tribble Reese is a jack-of-all-trades and an up and comer in the entertainment industry. Born in Atlanta, raised in Alabama, schooled in South Carolina, and now making a name for himself where it all began, Tribble Reese is taking Atlanta, and the world, by storm.

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