Committed to creating a positive change...
I am a 46 year old living with my parents in Hebron, In. My parents have been my sole caregivers since day one when I came home from the hospital. I have two younger sisters that have families of their own, but can be counted on when needed to help. My Mom and Dad, sisters and their husbands, my four neices and my dog Shawna have been my motivation along with my passion to walk again.
Before my accident, I was a certified auto technician working for the same place for almost 18 years. I did body, mechanical, painting and frame work for vehicles involved in the accidents. My experience came working at a very early age with my Dad, who taught me most of what I know. I started working after I graduated high school at the same place that my Dad worked for almost 40 years. I was fortunate to do what I enjoyed doing. While working I went to school to become certified in all facets of auto repair and maintenance.
I was 39 when I was involved in an auto accident on April 6, 2006, coming home from work. I was a passenger belted in when we were hit on the expressway during rush hour, 2 cars chasing one another when one car hit the other causing it to spin completely around hitting us. The impact was so strong that it caused the vehicle I was in to rollover 5 - 6 times pinning me under the dashboard with the roof entirely collapsing on top of the rest of me. I was awake thru the whole ordeal, remembering on the second roll I could not feel or control what was happening. They literally had to cut me out of the vehicle in order to free me for the paramedics to work on me. The driver who hit us and the driver who I was with went home that night, unfortunately I did not. The driver of the car that actually caused the incident was never found. My 5th vertebrae burst, and I had fractures from 3 - 6. My spinal cord was compressed and pushed sligghtly to the left. I didn't sustain any broken bones, internal bleeding or head injuries except for cuts and glass embedded in my head. The next morning, they decided to operate and replace my 5th vertebrae and fused the fractures. I now have a metal plate in the back of my neck with several screws holding it in place. I had a halo put on my head with a weight attached to it to stretch my spinal cord. Four days later I was operated on again to remove any fragments that might have been left behind. I became a quad-incomplete because of this accident.
Seven years later thru much therapy and hard work along with support from my family I am still making remarkable progress. My parents are paying for my therapy, it is not your basic therapy, it is a place called Next Steps, Chicage. Sessions consist of stretching, core, leg and arm exercises along with the use of machines like the Loko-mat, stem bike and an overhead rail system that helps me walk. I go for 2 sessions 3 times a week, driving from Indiana to Illinois.
My parents are retired and financially limited to what they can pay for. I do not want to give up this form of agressive therapy. I contacted the Dreams of Recovery Foundation and applied for assistance and suprisingly I was contacted by Cindy who told me help was available.
My hobby is all aspects of car restoration and working on cars and I am an avid Nascar fan - so THANK YOU CINDY AND THE DREAMS OF RECOVERY FOUNDATION FOR THE HELP!!!