Exceptional Skills Saved My Life - Jerry J. Bullough
On February 27, 2003, I hit a tree while skiing. Severe injuries required a helicopter trip. Head and brain injury, a ruptured spleen, broken left femur in two places, broken facial bones, broken left arm, seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and other injuries created a critical situation that could have resulted in a one-way trip to the morgue. Good medical care at the University Hospital for a month, then two and a half months of good medical care and rehabilitation at LDS Hospital resulted in an excellent prognosis and recovery.
The exceptional skills of the doctors, nurses, and rehab specialists at LDS Hospital fought off the life threatening secondary problems that occurred from such serious injuries. They all seemed to have a very caring and personal interest in my well being which greatly helped my recovery. I believe that I received the best care possible anywhere in the world from the people at LDS Hospital's rehab center. Thank you!
Miracles Happen - Megan New
I had Gillian-Barre Syndrome that completely paralyzed my entire body forcing me to be put on a ventilator. The doctors first thought that I would be hospitalized for a year. After two months of intensive care I entered rehab at LDS Hospital. I had some movement in my arms and very little in my legs. Rehab was hard but it was also very rewarding. Within four weeks of working hard and keeping my head held high, I was walking with a cane.
The therapists were very knowledgeable and motivating. They would put their full effort into every day and truly showed me how much they cared that I progressed. Every morning I woke up and put a smile on my face and knew I could make those small progressions. Miracles happen, and with ambition and help all things can be done.
Be A Champ of Challenges - Chad Hymas, C-5 Quadriplegic
Everybody goes through change, challenges, trials and struggles of some sort. What sets us apart from others is how we respond to those unique opportunities of adversity.
It was a cool April 3rd day. It was 7 p.m. and I was on my way home from work. I received a phone call on my cell phone while driving on the freeway. It was my wife and she had some wonderful news. She said that our 1-year-old son Kyler had just taken his first few steps, and would I hurry home to see his great accomplishment before he went to bed. I told Shondell that I would hurry, but I needed to stop by the farm first to feed our animals. I quickly raced to the field, got out of my truck, and started up the tractor. I drove over to the haystack and proceeded to load a one ton bale of hay from 15 feet above the ground. While attempting to load a bale, I noticed the hydraulic level on my tractor was low. Instead of the bale raising up, it simply slipped back down on the stack. This was unusual, and I knew the problem, but I chose not to fix it. Why? I was in a hurry. I needed to get home!
On my second attempt to try and make the tractor work "as is", the hydraulics failed and the bale rolled backwards landing on my body. I was fully conscious. My body instantly went numb. I had no feeling from the neck down. I began to struggle for each and every breath of my life. I simply began to count because that was the only thing I could do to focus on breathing. 1-2-3-4- and thousands of breaths later I saw headlights on the dirt floor. It was my wife. She came looking for me after dark. I was life flighted to LDS hospital.
The next thing I remember is waking up from surgery. My family surrounded me and we sat there and listened as the two doctors in front of us gave me my prognosis. They said that I had broke three of the seven vertebrae in my neck - that I would be paralyzed for the rest of my life. They said I lost the use of my feet and legs. I lost the use of all of my stomach muscles and most of the muscles in my chest. I also lost the complete use of my fingers and hands and most of the strength in my arms.
Now, surely this defines change, challenge and trial. All of us at one time or another will definitely face adversity. This is a fact. And it is my belief that our challenges are meant for a purpose. We must find that purpose to begin creating our destiny and moving forward with a purposeful and meaningful life.
It all starts in rehab and therapy. I spent 2 months in the LDS rehab unit. It was the most difficult 2 months of my life at the time. Accepting my new circumstance and then learning to adapt to it was not easy. Despite the challenges in those 2 months, I can say it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I focused on what I could control. What I did have, and not on what I did not. I focused on relearning how to use the movable parts of my body. And I met some wonderful friends. In fact many of the nurses, doctors, and therapists who helped me have become part of my family!
I have found great joy in my new circumstance. I have learned things about myself that I never realized. Here are a few principles that have helped me to take the challenge of paralysis and turn it into an opportunity.
- Remember that your attitude is everything! It is a catalyst. A spark that can create extraordinary results.
- Responsibility-You are where you are in your life because of your past actions. Take responsibility and make changes to create a better future.
- Accept, Adapt, and Act on change. I call these the 3 A's to success. Accepting change is difficult. You can not adapt or act on change until you have accepted it.
- The only place success comes before work is the dictionary!
By trying to apply these simple principles in my life I have been able to do things that at one time I thought impossible. It took me 4 months to learn how to put my shirt on again. It was 8 months before I could shave myself and wash my hair. A year before I completely undressed myself for the first time. That first attempt took over 3 hours, now I get undressed in 23 minutes. And it was 14 months before I finally learned to drive again.
I am still a husband to my beautiful wife and father to our two boys. I ref basketball from my chair, play wheelchair rugby, and I race marathons. Last July I set a world record by wheeling an ultra marathon of over 500 miles between Salt Lake and Las Vegas.
I am still living my dreams. I have found that when challenges and trials come - the potential for greater rewards and blessings are attached. It is my hope that you will see beyond the outer surface and find the hidden treasure within!