About Rebecca. Rebecca Petrie was born to Martha and Ralph Kunkle on April 4, 1945 in Homer City, PA. In college, she majored in speech and drama, and did summer stock one year. She and Paul met in college and were married August 27, 1966. They graduated in 1967, and the day after graduation, they left on the first of many trips to Europe and Africa, developing in the course of that time a love for the countries and the people of the two continents.
Rebecca and Paul have four children, Matthew, Susannah, Phillip and Stephen. Matthew is married to Stephanie, and in 2005, Phillip married Josefine Ahlback. Currently Stephen and Phillip live in Cleveland, Ohio; Phillip is a painting contractor and Stephen is a student at Hillsdale College. Susannah has returned to Belgium to help with her mother's care.
In 1986 the family moved to Belgium, settling in Genval, just outside Brussels. On October 4, 2001, Rebecca was walking downstairs when she blacked out and fell to the bottom of the stairs. The event left her largely paralyzed from the neck down. What followed was five and a half months in intensive care; three surgeries in Brussels and two in London, all very delicate; and thirteen additional months of hospitalization for physical therapy. Slowly some movement has returned to her body and she is able to use her right hand for daily tasks and is able to get up for two to three hours a day in a wheelchair. Pain is a regular feature of life and she is completely dependent for her care on other people.. In a moment, she was reduced from a vibrant, active woman to a woman totally dependent on the care of others. The choice before her: bitterness and despair, or an embrace of life. She daily chooses life. This is her journey.
Rebecca's List. Rebecca and Paul's reflections as they dealt with the accident and all that followed have been chronicled in regular emails sent to a growing list of people around the world. If you'd like to keep up-to-date, you have two choices. You can subscribe to the list to receive emails automatically, or you can subscribe to the Atom or RSS feeds by using one of the freely-available readers. Click the button on the left to sign up