I fell around 3 stories and had a severe concussion, broke two ribs, tore a rotator cuff, shattered one vertebrae, and have a compression fracture on two others. The incident has left me paraplegic and, arguably, in the most positive state I’ve ever been in.
I’m sharing this all to be open about my life and not looking for pity in any way. I am not sorry for what has happened to me and please do not say you are. I am fortunate to have no memory of how I fell up until almost a week later when the initial hospital I was triaged at planned to perform surgery on me without considering my Von Willebrand's, a form of hemophilia. That surgery could have been fatal. With the help of family and friends I advocated for my own care and landed at Northwestern, my internist’s hospital affiliate, to get surgery. There, my neurosurgeon opted to turn 7 and 2 hours surgeries into one 9 hr surgery stabilized my spine in a titanium cage, and saved my life. Recovery from that surgery has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It is insanely challenging to be a paraplegic and not just survive but thrive in this world, but that is my choice. So I’m now at the Abilitylab in Streeterville, Chicago and couldn’t be in better hands. I work 7 days a week 3-7 hours a day on how to thrive in an able-bodied world given my disabilities. Outpatient rehab starts in a couple of weeks, along with relearning how to live an independent life.
The universe has given me a second chance in a chair. Rather than feel sorry, I choose to accept the challenge, chart a new course and embark on a formidable journey. However the road ahead is expensive, insurance has covered a lot so far, but not all and there is more to come. Can't thank those enough for their ongoing love and kindness; please consider the same by supporting my return to the ambulatory world in whichever way you can.
"Be stronger than your doubt, be braver than your fear, be bigger than your anger."
Andy shares his progress on this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/A-way-from-Ambulatory-Andys-Handicapable-Journey-528537687604064/
DonationsSee top donations
- Reid Kleiner
- Elizabeth Popkins
- Gabriel Zurita
- Jaime Chandra
- Cheryl Carlson