In high school, Ashley Cooper-Heath likes to say she was “a cliché.” She was on the track team, was a cheerleader, and was Homecoming Queen.
But since the beautiful young woman was involved in a car accident in 2004 at age 20, her life has been challenging in ways that most people could never imagine. Paralyzed from the waist down, she is in a wheelchair. She also has limited range of motion in her left shoulder, and has severe short-term memory problems.
She’s made her life a story of triumph by focusing on what she can do, rather than what she can’t. She’s a paratriathlete, competing in triathlons with adaptive equipment. She also plays tennis, water skis, and enjoys archery and billiards thanks to the Brooks Rehabilitation Adaptive Sports & Recreation Program, a nationally unique program that offers a multitude of free athletic and recreational activities for people with disabilities on the First Coast.