Paraplegic Gleneisha Darkins determined to finish school

by Gigi Tinsley
Special to the NNPA from The Miami Times

Gleneisha A. Darkin on senior prom night (left) and Darkin after the accident.

It was about this time of the year —Thanksgiving — in Nov. 2010 when Gleneiesha Darkins and a carload of her classmates from the Richmond Heights area were coming home from Florida A&M University [FAMU] to spend the holidays with their families and they were involved in a horrific accident.

Glenny, as she is affectionately called by her friends, had only been at FAMU since that August.

Her best friend, Miami Times reporter Ashley Montgomery, “loves Glenny like a little sister.”

Montgomery wrote in a letter to Darkins, one year after the accident and said:“I never told you this before, but the night before you left for FAMU, I prayed and cried for you. I didn’t even know exactly why I was crying and being so dang dramatic. . . I heard a voice speak to me. It said, you [Gleneisha] are special and would affect a lot of people, positively.”

Life changed forever

According to Darkins, “I was asleep when the accident occurred and when I gained consciousness, I was in the hospital with head, neck and spinal cord injuries. I could not move my body. I was a quadriplegic.” Others in the car were injured but she and the driver were the only two who were paralyzed.

Darkins is only 21 years old but she has the stability and tenacity of a much older individual. ‘I am now enrolled at Florida International University [FIU] and am majoring in psychology with plans to graduate in 2016.

“Things will never be as they were before the accident but we [the family]are doing as well as we can. We take things day-by-day.”

Darkins was born in Richmond Heights to Angelic Philon and Glenn Darkins and has one brother, Louis. According to Montgomery, “Gleneisha is one of the rarest, strongest, most influential, trendsetting, honest, real, and beautiful persons I know… It is seldom one meets a person who becomes a friend like you.”