Jennie Knowles Survives & Thrives

Celebrating You

Ready to be inspired? Here’s what happens when you don’t give up.

 

You never want to tell Jennie Knowles what she can’t do.

 

In 2006, Jennie started at Walmart, where her mother and her stepfather worked. She started as a driver doing replenishment, then shifted over to breakpacks. Today, she’s an ASAP order filler at DC 6029 in Hurricane, Utah.

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Jennie (pictured above, right, with her son) had been working at Walmart for 10 years when she was in a serious motorcycle accident. The accident left her with broken bones, a traumatic brain injury and nerve damage. When she woke up from a coma, her doctors said she wouldn’t talk, walk or work again.

 

Now, remember what we said about not telling Jennie what she can’t do?

 

“They told me I wasn’t going to walk or talk or work ever again,” Jennie says. But she was determined to go back.

 

After a lot of hard work, she gradually started walking again. And then talking. The doctors revised their outlook.

 

“They told me with therapy I could probably go back to work in about three years.” But Jennie knew better. She threw herself into therapies, participating as often as she could.

 

So, the doctors made another prediction: “They said, ‘Well, it looks like you could go back to work after maybe 18 more months of therapy.’” Once again, she proved them wrong.

 

Nine months later, Jennie was back at work.

 

“I was nervous, but I knew that I’d be coming back to breakpack—they had held my job for me. My mom and my stepdad were both in that department and, if I needed help, there was always somebody there.”

 

Being back at Walmart has been good all around. Jennie’s work ethic and determination inspire her coworkers. “If people are having a rough day and they’re working by me, they see that I’m just going to town! They’re like ‘You almost died, and you’re still here working hard!’ So I feel good. It’s a healthy inspiration, and I like that.”

 

Jennie attributes her drive to the support she gets from those around her—both her family and coworkers. Plus, she wants to set an example for her 10-year-old son.

 

“What got me going was that I wanted to show my son that even if they said I couldn’t do it, I was going to do it and I was going to do it faster.”

 

Thank you for inspiring us, Jennie!