Imagine waking up in the hospital remembering you were traveling to work as an able bodied person, then in a 1988 moment, a car accident changes your life…receiving a T3 –T4 spinal cord injury.
Being in the ICU for a long time, I transferred to rehab to learn how to perform life again. As a new paraplegic it can be overwhelming to re-learn how to take care of yourself. While in rehab an individual who had a similar injury visited with me about what life was going to be like in a wheelchair. After his visit I was left with the impression life would be just sitting at home. Once discharged from rehab, I met others who relied on wheelchairs for mobility and from then, I realized life could move forward. I decided I would determine I would continue to have as normal a life as I could while being a paraplegic.
Eight years after my injury I met a special young woman who after 1½ years, became my wife. As our relationship matured we decided to start a family, but this proved to be challenging. After meeting with specialists and trying expensive treatments, nothing was working. Therefore, we decided to pray and let God work His miracles. Today we stand blessed with four active children!
I believe being active within your community is vital. With my mentoring and life accomplishments, in 2006 Immanuel Hospital’s Rehab Center awarded me the “Victory Award”, which represents an individual who has overcome barriers and demonstrates they have been able to continue on in life after having experienced a significant life challenge.
Now a shoulder issue which was sustained as a result of my transferring from my wheelchair into my car and then needing to fold down the chair to transfer it into my car has created another challenge. My physician tells me my shoulder is wearing out and he is recommending a van with a ramp to eliminate the need to transfer in and out of my vehicle so often. We would like to purchase one, however the cost of an adapted van is not within our budget. Having an adaptive van would allow me the opportunity to continue to serve my community and be a father who could continue to attend my children’s events. Thank you, I am grateful for this opportunity.