Articles Tagged: Personal Story
Published: November 30, 2012 | Category: News
“It’s a personal choice to be in a good mood or a bad mood, and I choose to be in a good mood.” – Brian Keefer
It’s been more than four years since Brian Keefer attempted a triple flip into a foam-filled pit at a Fairview Township gym and plunged head-first into the hard foundation underneath.
In that instant, he became a quadriplegic.
He thinks back to that day constantly, and to the life he led before. A life of athletics, constant motion, carefree days at the beach and few worries.
Thinking back is not depressing, though, he said. It’s motivating. Continue Reading »
Published: November 24, 2012 | Category: News
Doug Smith was one of the best hockey prospects ever to emerge from Ottawa. He was taken second overall in the 1981 NHL draft, but his pro career was turbulent and ended in tragedy with a broken neck. Surgery left him a quadriplegic. But Smith is not a man easily defeated: he’s using his epic story to teach others how to overcome adversity and to take advantage of second chances.
Doug Smith looks like a former NHL player — strong and square with a head shaped like a snub-nosed bullet — but he doesn’t sound like one.
“It makes you unhealthy if you hurt other people,” Smith, a man with more than 600 NHL career penalty minutes, says in his keynote address to the Brain Injury Association of Canada. Continue Reading »
Published: November 23, 2012 | Category: News
Sometimes my sister forgets that she can’t walk. Or that she can’t stand without help. Like when the curtain went down on the recent Rock of Ages musical and everyone in the Jubilee Auditorium jumped to their feet for an ovation and, naturally, she went to stand, too.
Instead, my sister boomeranged back into her seat. Undefeated, she sat as tall as possible. It wasn’t enough. She clapped with all her heart like the rest of us, but cried with all her soul. My sister’s brain understood the message, but her damaged spinal cord can’t carry out its commands. It’s as though it speaks a different language now and the translation is lost in transmission. Continue Reading »
Published: October 31, 2012 | Category: News
A beach accident prompts a Fort Lauderdale mother and son to create Walking With Anthony, a non-profit that raises money to help spinal cord injury victims.
Anthony Purcell’s voice grows strained when he speaks about that February 2010 day that changed his life. Back in Florida visiting cousins, he dove into the water off South Beach and crashed into a sandbar.
“I thought I was going to die,” he recalls.
He didn’t. A cousin rescued him, but he was left paralyzed, with a broken neck and two bruised vertebrae. Continue Reading »
Published: October 22, 2012 | Category: News
Scott Fedor, MBA ’04, charts a new course after a devastating spinal cord injury.
For Scott Fedor, MBA ’04, a common entry in an old planner — “pick up dry cleaning” — is a portal to another life. Though Fedor scribbled that to-do in 2009, he left the pants hanging at a suburban Cleveland cleaners.
“It’s amazing to think what my mindset was when I dropped those pants off,” Fedor says. “I took for granted that after the Fourth of July weekend, I would pick them up and wear them to my next sales meeting.” Continue Reading »
Published: October 11, 2012 | Category: News
FREDERICK — Though Cole Truebenbach is paralyzed from the chest down, he quickly lifts himself out of his wheelchair.
With little effort, Truebenbach hefts his body into the contraption next to him. The device — equipped with treads instead of tires, camouflage instead of leather — is an all-terrain vehicle embodied in a wheelchair.
A few moments later, the 20-year-old is standing tall at his true height, 6-foot-2. Continue Reading »
My dad fell in church the other day. He said it happened as he was going down the steps. He felt a shooting pain in his back shortly before and there was nowhere to sit. As he walked down the step his leg gave out, he collapsed. Other church members hurried over to catch him. He suffers from Sciatica and some arthritis. He turned 80 last July. Aging can bring about some of this. I think he’s becoming addicted to these cortisone shots. He’s had several and always seems to think that is the cure. Once the medication wears off, the pain comes back. I was talking to him about the importance of exercise and moving around. I notice he doesn’t move around as much. Naturally, when we don’t move our body weakens.
I kept thinking, if it’s that hard for my dad to move without having paralysis. Imagine how much harder it is for the paralyzed? Well, I can imagine, because I have been. Continue Reading »
Published: September 11, 2012 | Category: News
A storm, a tree and a life-changing injury turned college basketball player Zac Bradley into a rugby fan. It happened swiftly back in May 2011, when the 20 year-old from Riverdale was in his car.
“I was driving in a storm when a tree fell on top of the car, but I don’t even remember it,” said Bradley. “I know I suffered a spinal cord injury and was at Grady Hospital for a month, but I barely remember that. I was in a very bad condition and on a lot of drugs.”
The 6-foot-tall Bradley went directly from Grady to the Shepherd Center in Buckhead, where he realized the full extent of his injuries. Continue Reading »
Published: August 28, 2012 | Category: News
CHAMPION – Amber Hogue felt her neck snap, and the mother of six immediately started praying.
The 31-year-old woman said her head slumped forward into her lap, and she couldn’t feel anything from the neck down. Her first thought was that she was paralyzed. Next, she thought about her children.
“I started praying nonstop,” she said. “It really freaked me out. I don’t know how else to describe it. I kept thinking that I might never walk again. I’m suppose to take care of the kids. They’re not suppose to take care of me.” Continue Reading »
Published: August 23, 2012 | Category: News
After 26 years in a wheel chair William Orr is walking. It is with the assistance of a walker, but he is walking. Orr is walking to get his mail, he is walking to rehab from his car and he is planning on walking into his 35th high school reunion.
After 26 years in a wheel chair William Orr is walking. Granted it is with the assistance of a walker, but he is walking. Orr is walking to get his mail, he is walking to rehab from his parked car and he is planning on walking into his 35th high school reunion. Continue Reading »