After Trauma, Herriman Family Discovers What’s Still In Tact
May 3, 2019, 10:12 PM
HERRIMAN, Utah – When a Herriman family faced a traumatic event, it could have torn them apart. Life changed dramatically, and they questioned everything.
“July 17, 2017, and it was just like a normal day,” said Taylor Cutler, a senior at Herriman High School. “We drove up yellow fork canyon. We went flying down the canyon, and I just turned really quickly and I rolled my car.”
Maren Cutler, Taylor’s mother, remembered, “The phone call was: ‘You need to come now, she’s been in a serious accident.”
Taylor, “My whole life was dance, my whole life was being active,” Taylor said. “I was like, ‘What is a life without your legs?'”
Taylor was paralyzed from the chest down.
Taylor’s father, Greg Cutler, said it was hard because he couldn’t fix what had happened to his daughter.
“Yes, yeah, that’s a … don’t go there,” he said tearfully.
In the difficult days and weeks after Taylor’s accident, her older brother, Jaden, was devastated.
“It hit him really hard; very hard,” Taylor said.
He was starting his college football career.
“I thought about her 24-7,” said Jaden Cutler who attends school and plays football at Snow College. “It took me longer to get over it, more than my parents, kind of getting used to it, not over it-accepting it.”
The night of the accident, Jaden had offered Taylor a kindness.
Taylor said, “He had given me the keys to his car.”
Never dreaming her joy ride with a friend would go so wrong.
“For a long period I thought it was my fault,” Jaden said.
At home, 12-year-old Brock and 8-year-old Boston tried to understand.
Taylor said, “Sometimes I’d see them act out, or I’d see them get really quiet, or a little bit weird around me at first.”
Boston Cutler said, “I was feeling sad. She couldn’t like, play with us, come downstairs, wrestle or anything like that.”
Brock tried to be strong, but inside, he struggled.
“I felt like really sad, because she couldn’t like walk anymore,” he said, crying.
Maren said, “I’ve never seen him break down like that. I think everyone was just kind of mad and confused, ‘Why would this happen?’”
To help them cope, Taylor gathered her brothers together to set things straight.
“I just wanted them to know that I’m the same person,” she said. “I’m still Taylor, I’m still me. I can still tease you. I can still fight with you. I’m still the crazy, talkative girl.”
Then, there was progress.
“My little brother pushed me, and I was like, ‘thank you,’ I was like, ‘see, this is normal,'” Taylor said.
They began discovering something remarkable.
Greg Cutler, Maren’s father said, “They’re still pain in the ‘you know what’ kids. Everyone’s wanting to come home more. Instead of, hang out with their friends a little less, I’ve just noticed, you don’t want to miss out on something.”
Taylor and Jaden have found their same sibling rhythm, laughing and teasing each other on FaceTime while he’s away.
They’ve also found the most important things are intact.
“Last summer was when I finally was home, and got to see how she lived. She’s very independent. She does stuff on her own, it makes me happy,” Jaden said.
And their bond is unbreakable.