Sofia Sofroniadou

In August 1996, Sofia was on holiday with her fiance when their car went over a cliff. A few days later, doctors told her she would never walk again. «The shock lasted 24 hours. That’s how long it took me to realize it. Then I said, ‘Those are the facts, see what you can do.’» Ten years later, she has been married and divorced, lives alone and works as a credit director at Tetrapak. She goes out with her friends, drives, and does everything else from a wheelchair. At a Swedish rehab center, the doctors were amazed – she was the only patient who needed just one counseling session («and that was to convince them I didn’t need it»). Before the accident, she had been a secretary, and could have applied to be a public servant, but didn’t want to be using a rubber stamp all day. Her career at Tetrapak began as a receptionist, a post from which she has worked her way up. «My life continued on from where I left it before the accident. I couldn’t have settled for anything less,» said Sofroniadou, who believes there is nothing women can’t do. «If those of us sitting in these chairs got up again, we would be super-men and women. I would never get tired, I’d have a 24-hour day. It is here that I realize my enormous strength.» She has the same concerns as every other woman. «I would like to marry again, to become a mother, but times are strange. If I feel lonely at times, it isn’t because of the wheelchair. Everyone has a family and there is no room in their lives for a bachelor, and especially not for a spinster.» This artical first appeared in K, Kathimerini’s color supplement, on March 5.