BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. - A Northampton County woman who nearly lost her life after a fight with her husband is now celebrating a major milestone.
The Nazareth native is getting her first taste of freedom in nearly two years.
Maria Gruver has spent the last two years in hospitals and a nursing home. She's just 27-years-old.
Gruver was left paralyzed from the neck down after her husband, Jason Gruver, choked her inside their home in Nazareth in 2012, police said.
Jason Gruver pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in a plea deal in 2013. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
"I can honestly say he is not on my mind. This incident is not on my mind. It's moving forward and just getting better," Maria Gruver said.
Doctors predicted Gruver would spend the rest of her life on a breathing machine, but Gruver said she was determined to get off of the machine. Gruver said she's confident that one day she will be able to move her limbs again, too.
Her biggest motivation, she said, is her 4-year-old daughter, Kayliee.
Gruver said the most heartbreaking part about the whole ordeal has been not being able to hold her precious baby like she could before.
"Not being able to play with her like she wants to be played and hugged like everyone else gets to love her," Gruver said.
With help from the Beginning Over Foundation, Gruver and her daughter are about to get some normalcy back.
"This is a woman who has seen nothing but walls and a ceiling for the last 10 months, laying in bed or in her wheelchair or being in an environment with very elderly people," said Heidi Markow, founder of Beginning Over Foundation.
The foundation has placed Gruver in an apartment with handicap-accessible features, including a special electric hospital bed.
Gruver was moved out of the nursing home Tuesday afternoon.
"So Maria can experience what it's like to live in a beautiful place, with beautiful people, in a beautiful environment," Markow said.
Gruver will still require 24-7 care. Various fundraisers are being planned to help cover those costs that insurance isn't covering. For more information, visit here.
Gruver said she wants to be a voice for domestic violence victims. She said she hopes her story will encourage other people to get out of an unhealthy, violent relationship.
"She is absolutely an inspiration," Markow said.
Allentown, PA 18102