A Second Chance at Life
In 2001, I was 33 years old and felt like I was in the prime of my life. I had a young family and a promising career. I was a husband, a father, and an athlete.
In an instant all of that was nearly taken away. It was Labor Day weekend and we were at a neighbor's barbeque. After a few adult beverages, another dad and I decided to see who could do better flips on the backyard trampoline. I had the bigger flip, he had the better landing. I slightly over-rotated, and landed in the middle of the trampoline on my chest and neck. Feeling like I was floating in air, I immediately called for help. After everyone was finished laughing and pointing, they realized I wasn't able to stand up.
A helicopter ride later, I was in the ER with my wife being told I would most likely never walk again. I had broken my C5/6 and suffered a spinal cord injury. Six weeks and a few hospitals later, I actually physcially walked out of the hospital (in a very weak state). I did not feel like the same person I was before the accident. It seemed like all the things that defined my self image and confidence had changed. I didn't think I could be the father or role model I was used to being.
I spent the next 10 years dwelling on the many things I couldn't do anymore until I started focusing on the things I COULD do. That's when the real recovery began. Today I'm an active hiker, cyclist, traveler and overall adventure seeker. I understand how fortunate my recovery has been and I try to take advantage everyday. At this point, nobody knows about my injury unless I decide to tell them. It's been an incredible journey, and I'm one of the lucky ones.