Judy Bouley- Persevering Through Hardship

Judy Bouley- Persevering Through Hardship

Payton Field, Staff Writer

To many students at FHC, the name Judy Bouley is a friendly and familiar one. Some students had her as a counselor while others danced through her spunky zumba classes. Whether it be through learning new dance moves or studying school bullying topics, the name Judy Bouley brings thoughts of kindness, high energy and dedication.

“When I think of Judy Bouley, I think of how inspiring she is,” said English teacher Lisa Penninga. “Everything she does is so spunky and amazing.”

In September of 2015, 5th grade counselor and zumba teacher Judy Bouley was involved in a tragic car accident. She suffered major injuries, including 10 broken ribs, a shattered pelvis, a broken sacrum, a lacerated liver, and a broken neck. That day, her life was forever changed.

“At first, I didn’t really understand the extent of my injuries and I spent too much time in a state of disbelief,” Judy said. “My initial thoughts were, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t walk for over three months!’ and I thought to myself, how am I going to get through this?”

Basic functions like getting herself dressed, putting on makeup, and washing her face were extremely difficult and in some cases, completely impossible without help. Daily tasks that we take for granted proved to be undoubtedly challenging. But almost seven months later, Judy has made tremendous leaps of improvement and still continues to advance.

After the accident there were many goals that Judy set for herself. Her biggest and most challenging goal was being able to walk.

“The thought of being able to walk was very high on my list of things to do,” Judy said. “When the doctors gave me the okay, I was more excited than you can imagine!”

Although walking may seem effortless, for Judy this was a big accomplishment. After 3 months of being pushed in a wheelchair and lying in bed, she would finally get the opportunity to attempt at taking her first steps. Subsequently, her goal was reached and she overcame one of many obstacles.

According to Judy, her goals are ever changing. Her most recent goal is to regain balance, stability, and strength, due to her broken neck. As she continues to heal, she keeps pushing herself to accomplish more and focus on the “cans” in life. Despite her multiple obstacles, Judy has proven to be a trooper. Her determined attitude and positive spirits help her accomplish her many goals.

“Judy has taught me the true value of perseverance,” said co-worker Christine Field. “No matter how challenging or difficult life may seem, if you persevere, you can always get through the hard times.”

Judy Bouley is an inspiration to many students and teachers throughout FHC. Just a few weeks ago, she took a trip back to Central Woodlands for a surprise visit with her students. She gave a motivating speech on the importance of persevering through hardship.

“Immediately when I hear Judy’s name, I think of the word persevere,” Penninga said. “She has gone through so much and she always does everything with a smile on her face and with such zest. She always looks at the glass half full and she is such an inspiration.”

With many setbacks and obstacles, Judy has learned to accept and adapt to a new normal. And although sometimes she can be filled with sadness and grief, each and every day she is one step closer to recovering.

“I think my biggest accomplishments are still to come,” Judy said. “I tend to not look at the things I can’t do, but more to the things I am accomplishing.”

In future weeks, Judy hopes to return to school and reunite with her students. She anticipates that coming back will not only bring her great joy, but also sadness. Sadness because of the things she can no longer do and joy for her love and dedication to the Central Woodlands staff and students.

“Perseverance is all about acceptance. It’s about accepting and willingness to develop a new normal,” Judy said. “Through it all, I have learned that life is precious and you need to take time to breathe it all in.”