Willard’s Story

I was fortunate to be blessed with good health my whole life and enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, kayaking, scuba diving and snow skiing. I retired at 62 and had big plans for continuing these for many years to come. Six months later I was doing a tune-up snow skiing run by myself at Sugar Mountain and had an unspectacular fall and broke the first bone of my life. It was an incomplete C4 fracture that left me paralyzed from the shoulders down. Needless to say this put a significant kink in everything.

By the grace of God, tremendous support from my wife and friends, and the dedicated work of so many at Carolinas Rehab, Race to Walk, Sally’s Y and Purefico (Body Electric), I have been able to regain a good amount of function. I still have no tactile sensation and my left side is significantly impacted, but I am able to walk short distances and perform some basic activities. I can even ride a recumbent e-trike now! Physical therapy and regular exercise have been and continue to be vital to my physical and mental well-being.

I greatly appreciate the assistance from the We Win organization. I’ve read most of the recipient stories and my heart goes out to each person who has suffered such life-changing injuries, especially the young people. I’ve met so many during my rehab that have been a tremendous inspiration to me. I never thought I could ever do some of the things that I can now do. Keep working hard and stay positive!

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