On April 6, 2019 I suffered a traumatic injury at a Florida beach. I fractured a vertebrae in my neck, herniated two discs, sustained severe spinal cord damage, and went into cardiac arrest underwater. After a week in a hospital trauma center, I was still unable to walk without support and had no movement in my left hand and tricep. At that point, I was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a rehabilitation center for patients who suffer spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Once at Shepherd, I began to progress rapidly. Working daily with my amazing medical and therapy team, I built strength and stability in my legs and regained the use of my left hand. My days consisted of physical, occupational, and recreational therapy, and I was constantly inspired by the patients around me recovering from a variety of traumas. The people at Shepherd are incredible and deserve so much credit; everyone from the custodial staff to the neurosurgeons. Today, I am golfing, jogging, and continuing to build strength, and I owe much of this progress to the Shepherd Center.
Shepherd made an immeasurable impact on my life, and I want to ensure that they can continue to make that difference for others. On September 22, 2019, I will be running the Orca Half Marathon in Seattle. While training for this half marathon, I will be raising as much money as I can for the Shepherd Center. I saw firsthand the remarkable work that they do, and they have the ability to truly change the lives of patients who suffer spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.