Paraplegic Karen Roy’s Life-Changing Decisions Involving Graduate School, Marriage, Divorce and Her Little Girl

Karen Roy with her beautiful family in New Orleans.

Karen Roy with her beautiful family in New Orleans.

Editor’s Note: You’re not beaten until you give up. Although you may not know where you’re going or what you’ll eventually become, as long as you continue to improve and try more than yesterday, good things start happening. Karen Roy from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has proved that statement. A medical social worker today at Neuro Medical Center/Rehabilitation Hospital, Karen Roy has taken a journey to arrive at this position that demonstrates the courage of an individual and the never-say-never attitude that results in a successful life. Part 3 of a 5 part series.

After the accident, Mike and I dated for 5 years. When the first anniversary of my shooting came around I had a hard time. We actually planned a wedding even though we always had a rocky relationship. I felt that Mike was with me because he felt guilty about what happened. Wedding plans progressed–we hired a florist, preacher, sent invitations, and received gifts.

However, I still felt that Mike wanted to be with me because he felt guilty. I’d already called off the wedding one time due to this reason. One time when we were only 4 weeks away from the wedding, he made a comment that made me think he wasn’t fully committed. My mother made a comment to Mike about the invitations we sent, and Mike said, “Well, that might have been a little premature.”

Mike and I got into a big fight, so I called my mom and told her to cancel the wedding. She was angry because I think she had never wanted me to marry him in the first place. After I had canceled everything, I called Mike and broke the news. I said, “I know you’re scared, and there’s something not right about us getting married. Please don’t call me anymore.” If he was still hesitant about marrying me after 7 years, there was something really wrong about our relationship. I felt we needed to move on with our lives. Mike was upset, since I don’t think he really thought that I’d call off the wedding.

Karen realized that if Mike wasn't committed after 7 years, that they weren't meant to get married.

Karen realized that if Mike wasn’t committed after 7 years, that they weren’t meant to get married.

I’d just canceled my wedding, graduated from college with a degree in psychology and was working at a travel agency. I decided to have some fun and see what the world was like. I’d been in a relationship for 7 years and thought I had missed out on a lot. I wanted to date. At first, I thought no one would want to date me because I’m in a wheelchair. However, when Mike and I had broken up before, I dated a little bit, and discovered that there were still men who were interested in me. I started meeting a lot of men and went through a wild spell.

I realized I needed to return to school, so I took the GRE exam for graduate school and enrolled in the Master of Social Work Program at LSU. I knew I needed to go to school so I could get a good job and make a living. I chose LSU to get my master’s degree because that was where my entire support group was. 

However, I had a problem. When I was going through that wild spell after I graduated from college, I got pregnant and married the baby’s father. I didn’t know this man very well, but I thought I had to marry him since I was pregnant with his child. It was a bad idea because he was abusive, so I filed for divorce when my daughter Caroline was only 6 weeks old.

Karen had a lot on her plate- a baby, school, work, and more. She never gave up.

Karen had a lot on her plate- a baby, school, work, and more. She never gave up.

This was an extremely difficult time for me. I was in a wheelchair, divorced, had a baby, and was going to school to get my master’s degree. I realized this would be a lot for any man to handle. My mother agreed to take care of Caroline while I finished school. I worked nights as an operator at a women’s hospital, so that Caroline and I could get insurance.

Next: Karen Roy Meets The Man Of Her Dreams

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at

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