SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – It was a walk on a beautiful beach and, in an instant, a life was changed forever. In Monday’s Zevely Zone, Jeff went to Torrey Pines State Beach to meet a doctor who became a patient.

On April 13th, 2017, Dr. Anna Hackenberg did what thousands of San Diegans do every year – she went for a walk at Torrey Pines State Beach.

Dr. Hackenberg said she was entertaining two out-of-town friends and wanted to show them the beauty of the beach. It was also her first time at Torrey Pines State Beach.

Dr. Hackenberg and her friends were walking out into the ocean when the cliff above them collapsed. Her two friends were not injured, but the weight of the sand stone severed her spinal cord and paralyzed her from the chest down.

As a doctor at Sharp-Rees Stealy’s Urgent Care, Dr. Hackenberg, in an instant, became a patient. “I am so grateful to my whole team of therapists. They taught me how to move again,” she says about her rehabilitation at Sharp-Rees Stealy Medical Center.

Bluff collapses at the beach are rare and so is the type of person who can get back up after having so much fall down upon her.

Along with adaptive surfing, Dr. Hackenberg has stayed busy with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. She has returned to work – in her white coat and all – helping the next round of people in need.

And as much as she loves her summer swims, Dr. Hackenberg plans to learn how to ski this winter.

Doctor Hackenberg was born in Germany, but recently became a U.S. citizen.