Client Name: Charlie D.
Hometown: West Windsor, NJ
Injury Date: 05/31/09
Start Date: 02/11/10
After coming back from his mother’s birthday party, Charlie went out for a quick ride through town on his motorcycle. It ended up changing his life forever when he got into an accident that broke his spine at C-7. He was taken to the Trenton Hospital trauma center and then airlifted to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he underwent surgery only a few hours after his accident.
Initially Charlie could not use his arms or legs at all, but he considers himself lucky because he was eventually able to use his arms again. He started coming to Push to Walk because traditional outpatient therapy was not enough for him- he wanted to learn how to exercise in order to get stronger. He says that no one ever got sensation back by sitting around, so he knew he needed to stay active. Push to Walk forces him to stay active because it gives him the one-on-one attention he needs to focus on his exercise.
Charlie went back to work 10 weeks after his accident because he thought it would be too hard to go back if he waited too long. He owns an auto body shop with a partner: his partner works in the shop and he works in the office. He claims that he works there entirely too much.
When he is not working he likes to spend time with his two sons who live with him part-time and travel with his girlfriend, Michelle. Even though his accident involved a motorcycle, he is still very interested in them and considers them to be pieces of art.
He says that on one hand his life has not changed too much but on the other, it has also changed completely. He can still do all the same things he did before his accident but he has to learn new ways of doing them, which requires creativity. He says that “being paralyzed isn’t for the weak minded,” and he is definitely not that. A strong will and determination help him accomplish new things every day.