A day in the life of: Megan Lynch

Four years ago, sophomore Megan Lynch woke up in the hospital paralyzed from the neck down after hitting her head in the swimming pool.

“The doctors told me with therapy, moving different parts of my body may or may not come back,” Lynch said. “I had to ignore all that and just have the mindset that things will come back.”

Watson

Lynch, a biology major at UW-Whitewater, has certainties that she will someday go into the medical field and help find a solution to assist people with physical disabilities.

Lynch has not let being in a wheelchair keep her from being a dedicated student here at UW-Whitewater.

Center for Students with Disabilities Director Elizabeth Watson has known Lynch since she started college and said she has been more than impressed with her drive to succeed.

“She doesn’t just want to live and learn in the classroom,” Watson said. “She also wants to go out into the field with her science.”

Last summer, Lynch was part of a field-study trip to Yellowstone through the science department. Three of the students who attended were in wheelchairs, which didn’t stop them from studying the land and collecting samples from trees, vegetation and even wolf prints.

Over winter break, Lynch also participated in a wolf-tracking trip up north. In order for her to be able to navigate through the terrain, she needed a special kind of wheelchair, and Watson knew they could make it happen.

“Every time she’s ever said she’d like to try something, we make sure she is able to do it,” Watson said.

Through the commitment of the university, Lynch was provided an all-terrain, all-wheel drive powered wheelchair. The wheelchair is referred to as the “Megatron” when she’s driving it.

Although the CSD is dedicated to helping make everything available to students, Watson also said the passion of Lynch’s professors helps drive these opportunities.

“It’s nice for CSD to be able to sit back, and see how far and where her faculty wants to go with her,” Watson said.

According to sophomore Brittany Huss, Lynch is not only an amazing student, but an amazing friend as well.

After helping carry a package to her room one day, Huss said she became inseparable with Lynch.

“Meg [Lynch] is the most amazing best friend,” Huss said. “I couldn’t be more thankful that I did not judge or push her away simply because she’s slightly different on the outside.”

Huss said being friends with Lynch has made her more aware of the accommodations a person in a wheelchair needs, such as the process of getting in and out of a car or maneuvering around a store. Since they met, Huss has become a tutor at CSD.

Lynch’s struggles have been few and far between while going to school at UW-Whitewater.

“If there’s anything that may keep me from doing something, CSD helps me figure it out no matter what,” Lynch said.

Lynch said her only issue since being on campus was during an elevator outage in Tutt Hall. Living on the third floor, she is unable to leave the dorm or return to her room if there is an outage.

Although she is relatively new to being in a wheelchair, Lynch is as optimistic as they come.

“You have to be positive and laugh it off,” Lynch said. “You’re not going to get anywhere if you’re constantly feeling bad for yourself.”

To see videos of Lynch and the two other students on their trip to Yellowstone, or Lynch in the ‘Megatron’ during the wolf tracking trip, visit the CSD website.

Sophomore Megan Lynch is a biology major at UW-Whitewater. Lynch has been paralyzed for four years, but doesn’t let that get in the way of her dreams to help others with disabilities. Here, Lynch is working at the Center for Students with Disabilities.

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