Nashville Musician Befriends The Woman Who's Negligent Driving Left Him Paralyzed
September 25, 2017
Nashville musician David Francisco immediately forgave the woman who left him paralyzed — and the two have been invaluable to each other's recovery since.
Photo credit: Tennessean.com
Freya Markowski drove through a red light on April 27, 2016, and struck David Francisco on his bicycle. Markowski, who was off her bipolar meds for the first time in years, says she heard a million manic voices in her head while driving that day. She sped through a red light at 40mph.
Francisco went to the emergency room with a spinal cord injury that left him unable to move his legs.
"I felt like I'd killed someone," she told the Tennessean. "I remember being in a black hole."
A few months later, Markowski also went to the emergency room for a heroin overdose. As she recovered, she sent a long apology text to Francisco.
"Flashbacks of your body covered in blood haunted me," she wrote. "I would've traded places with you in a heartbeat... I lost my soul after the accident. I want you to know not a day goes by without me crying for your pain."
"I forgave her at the beginning," he said.
The two formed a friendship based on that forgiveness, and each has been instrumental in the other's recovery since the accident.
"I figured she probably also was going through a lot," he said. "I'd been shown so much support, I wanted to show her some support.
"The thing for me was, maybe I'm just too practical or pragmatic. It just didn't make sense for me to be angry, as long as it was an accident. I was never angry at her. I was angry at my legs."
On the day of her court date, Markowski was blown away. Charges were dismissed.
"I thought I was going to jail that day. Instead this angel of a man shows up with open arms. David's dad gave me a really big hug," she said. "How is that possible? The dad of the guy who I paralyzed?"
After writing and texting back and forth, the two decided to meet in person at a coffee shop in South Nashville.
Photo credit: Dylan Snowden / Tennessean.com
Markowski ran to him, and the two embraced for nearly a minute without speaking.
It was a miraculous moment for Markowski, who had been beating herself up since the accident.
"I forgave myself the moment David held me in his arms."
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