MiamiHerald / Britania Jacques never knows what kind of day she will have. At times, she’s full of energy as she goes about her daily routine as a single mother, college student and case manager assistant for an insurance company helping others with chronic health problems take charge of their health.

But some days, Jacques is unable to get out of bed. Chronic pain and breathing problems from a car accident seven years ago invade her body. Her right hand burns, her voice disappears, and the pains in her neck and back are sharp.

Those are the days that forced her to take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and to give up her $1,150-a month apartment and move back in with her mother in North Miami Beach.

“Every day I wake up, I look at myself in the mirror and I say, ‘You’ve literally come a long way.’ Looking at where I came from, I wasn’t supposed to walk, I wasn’t supposed to talk again. The doctors said I was only supposed to be a [vegetable]. Obviously there were other plans for me,” she said.


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