Teacher inspires despite disability - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Teacher inspires despite disability

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Although Courtney Boyll is paralyzed from the waist down, you would never know that from her joyful attitude. She lives her life with no regrets; she married her college sweetheart and is raising three kids of her own. Despite her daily struggles to take care of her family- and herself - she's inspiring her community one smile at a time.

"I believe that what happened to me was just an accident," Boyll said. "Driving too fast down a little country road."

20 years ago, Boyll was finishing her sophomore year of high school. As a standout basketball player with Division-1 interests from schools all over, a car accident changed everything.

"I was just named First Team All-State while I was in the hospital," Boyll said. "I remember the doctor walking in and asking him, 'Will I ever walk again?' And he just flat out said, 'No, I don't believe you will ever walk again.'"

Her attitude is even shocking to her older sister, Robyn Hutto.

"From the moment it happened to the first time I saw her since it happened, (she had) a smile," Hutto said. "I was smiling and she said, 'It's going to be okay.'"

Boyll's attitude remains the same today.

"Accidents happen," Boyll said. "It's how we respond to them that's the outcome."

It was through her high school coaches that Boyll developed that attitude.

"Athletics pushed me to dig deeper," Boyll said. "To know that it was in me to overcome. To know it was in me to win. And not to look at the accident as a loss, but to overcome it and win."

And she has.

"When she tells me not to give up," said Cameron Theodorou, one of Boyll's 3rd grade students. "Inside of me I feel, 'Don't give up. Just do what Ms. Courtney asks you and it will be a better day for you tomorrow.'"

"Ms. Courtney," as Boyll's students call her, teaches a class of 3rd graders at Moulton Elementary, embracing the opportunity to share her story.

"How many people can say they had a teacher in a wheelchair?" Boyll said. "I know I never did."

And neither did her students, until they were put in her class.

"I think it's interesting," said Sky Letson, one of Boyll's 3rd grade students. "She's different and I like that."

Although on the outside, Ms. Courtney's all smiles, her daily struggles have recently worsened. A month ago, while getting out of bed reaching for her wheelchair, Boyll fell on the ground and broke her leg.

That's when her sister, Robyn Hutto, found an online contest through National Mobility Awareness (http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/courtney-boyll-moulton-al/) giving away 4-wheelchair accessible vans nationwide.

"I just think of her having to pull up in her car and get the wheelchair out," Hutto said. "Just her, just outlook, it just makes me want to be a better person. And it makes me want to not have a bad day. If there's anything I can do to give back (to her). I've thought this contest. That's why I'm really passionate about it. I've probably bugged people every day. I'm constantly on Facebook (posting) 'Make sure to vote!' 'Tell everyone to vote!' That's just how passionate I am about (this contest). I think she deserves (to win) it."

Since the accident, one of Courtney's life mottos has become ‘Don't let life drive you - drive it.'

"Maybe this group of kids and certain children I've taught will be able to remember that teacher in that wheelchair that pushed through every day," Boyll said, smiling.

And her students can testify that she's already accomplished just that.

"She teaches you to never give up," said her 9-year-old student, Letson.

You can vote for Courtney here:

http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/courtney-boyll-moulton-al/

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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