One glance at Christina Nutt and you know she is the embodiment of perseverance. The lifelong animal lover and 28-year grooming veteran stands at a mere 5’ft tall without her right leg and left arm. But this hasn’t always been her reflection.
Two years ago, everything was smooth sailing for Christina. A short time earlier, she and Jason Weathers, her boyfriend and business partner, moved their life from Michigan to St. Augustine to take their dog grooming talents on the road with a mobile dog salon in the year-round warmth of Northeast Florida. Their passions and work ethic paid off quickly, and in a short time, Portable Pooch Spa was a success. Says Christina, “Jason and I were grooming 10 to 15 dogs a day and loving every minute of it.”
A lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, Christina spent a great deal of time riding on the back of Jason’s motorcycle. But considering herself more of a driver’s seat type of person, she decided it was time to ride behind the handlebars of her own brand new motorcycle – a reward to celebrate their success. Not even a month later, while out for a ride with Jason and friends, Christina’s bike experienced a major system malfunction that caused a catastrophic crash.
A life flight brought Christina to Shands Hospital in Jacksonville, where she underwent major life-saving surgery. She was in a coma for weeks and the events of that day changed Christina’s life forever. Besides the physical adjustments, she’s had to reevaluate what she wants out of life. “I believe the accident made me a better person. I appreciate everything now,” says Christina. “But it’s hard not to wonder what if.”
Today, Christina strives to find balance in her life. Her goal is to get back to doing what she loves, grooming dogs with Jason full time. Since the accident, she and Jason have traded roles. He’s the primary groomer now, while she focuses on the business end. She’s only able to work a few days a week and sometimes finds it hard to give up the reins, but there’s no one she would trust more than Jason, calling him a creative artist by nature. “He’s my best friend, business partner, and boyfriend. The moment he met my dogs I knew he was the one for me,” Christina boasts. “Jason just has such a kind heart and a way with animals.”
It’s a testimony to her strength to walk away from her accident with the drive to continue. But doing what she loves is what keeps her going. “It makes me feel whole again to be back working with animals and the customers who support me,” says Christina.
She knows she still has a long road ahead of her, but she is on a journey to find happiness and is grateful for this second chance at life. She hopes her story will help inspire those who have been through hardship and give them the courage to push past the pain. This time around she plans to focus on giving back to the amazing community that has helped her.