What injury did you sustain?
- Fractured cervical spine (C5,C6 & C7) and multiple fractures throughout the spinal vertebrae with an injured spinal cord.
- Multiple pelvic fractures requiring a pelvic ring.
- Crushed tibia just below the knee requiring a fixator, surgery, and a cast.
- Broken wrist.
- Right middle PIP repair (received a prosthetic joint)
- Damaged throat resulting in surgical placement of a feeding tube.
- Currently, an incomplete quadriplegic.
When did this injury occur?
How long was the recovery process?
9 months until final surgery- rehabilitation on-going
What provided you the motivation and drive to press on through the difficult times after sustaining the injury?
I was determined see the rest of my grandchildren born, grow up, and be a part of their lives. I was passionate about not living the rest of my life from a wheelchair. I did not want my wife to provide practically all my needs for the rest of my life. My family, relatives, friends, and coworkers were praying for me and insisting that I “get back on my feet.”
Lastly, I wouldn’t tolerate feeling sorry for myself; I had to draw on my inner strength and permit others to help me though recovery and rehabilitation.
How did the injury you sustained shape your character in who you are today?
I believe unfortunate eventualities have evolved my character by becoming “mellow” and very tolerant of life’s set backs.
Since the injury, how has life changed for you?
Prior to my injuries, I took great pride in being highly self-reliant, active, with the ability to do about anything that I desired anytime I wanted to. Post injury, I retained my pride but could no longer perform these physical and mental tasks. I had to learn to accept offers of help for the simplest of tasks. Bottomline: After two years, I have grown considerably more patient and determined while realizing that good physical health and a positive attitude is fragile and can be lost in the blink of an eye.