Jeremy Finton – Relearning Everything
It was summer, Jeremy was goofing off and, tragically, he had a diving accident. He broke his neck at cervical disc 5-6 and is an incomplete quadriplegic. He was brought to Miami Valley Hospital’s (MVH) inpatient rehabilitation unit where he spent a little over two months. He filled his days working with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and a psychologist. “I learned how to deal with being injured.”
Jeremy wasn’t the only one in this story who benefited from the services at MVH’s Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio. His family had to deal with issues after the accident, too. “The caseworkers and care were great. MVH really helped facilitate so much. The rehab staff helped out with instructing my family on how to deal with injury, not just the basic part of it, but the what-ifs and what happens after I leave the hospital. They helped my family cope and deal with the shock.”
Initially a lot of Jeremy’s therapy involved building his upper body strength so he could handle the wheelchair. “It was one arm, two arms and then trying to push a couple of times, take a break, catch my breath and keep going.” When Jeremy was finally discharged, he continued his therapy and strength building at CORP (Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program). “They helped build what I was doing on the outside in real life with the occupational part.”
Jeremy’s perseverance, combined with his therapists’ professionalism and understanding, have helped him function as well as possible. Transferring in and out of a bed, getting in and out of a car, transferring to a work location were skills Jeremy learned at RIO. “You go from nothing to trying to relearn everything. I went from one minute of having ability and function to not having it. The MVH staff was really able to help ease the mental part of it for me. They helped me learn to cope with everyday life.”
The bond Jeremy formed with his team of caregivers is a strong one. When he comes back for spinal cord rehab or support group, he catches up with staff and other patients he met. “The staff really gets into what they do, they want to help. They get excited about what they do. They are passionate about helping and making the patient successful.”
Jeremy said coming back from an injury like his is all about relearning, retraining and setting a goal. “And that’s what MVH wants to help you with…setting and reaching your goal.” These days Jeremy is teaching culinary arts at Sinclair Community College and continues to support others who have had spinal cord injuries.