Five years of persistence & determination!
Also posted in: OAS News & Updates, Summer, Winter
Your support makes stories like Dave’s possible. Please consider making a year-end donation to support OAS.
by Dave Nichols:
Dear OAS Community:
Just over five years ago I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. It changed my life. I was rock climbing in the in the Cascades of Central Washington and I fell. My Glasgow Coma score was 3, so severe the doctors gave us little hope, and encouraged my parents to have me donate my organs.
When I came out of the coma in Seattle, I was airlifted to Craig Hospital in Colorado where I did 5 months of intensive inpatient and outpatient rehab. Because I had always been active in the wilderness, Craig made therapeutic recreation a central part of my early program. Though I was still in a wheelchair my therapists took me rock climbing and ice fishing.
When I came home to Portland, I learned about Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) and made their programs a part of my ongoing recovery. Through the recreational activities at OAS I built confidence doing things outdoors that motivated me before my accident.
Looking back, I am very lucky to be alive, very grateful for all the opportunities I have had, and thrilled to see the payoffs. At our last visit, my doctor said she saw even more improvement in me this time than last time! I love making progress. Getting better feels great! Five years after my injury, I am still pumped to continue with occupational, speech and physical therapies twice a week.
Some of the milestones of my journey are as follows:
Returned home from Craig, transitioned from wheelchair to walker, started rock climbing with PDX Adaptive Climbing
Transitioned to two-wheeled walker, began walking with trekking poles. Mountain biking with OAS! Fly fishing with Camp Bullwheel.
Began walking independently with a walker. Began solo kayaking, skied with OAS.
Moved into a basement apartment with huge gains in independence. More skiing and biking with OAS. Began work in marketing.
The sky’s the limit! Outdoor rock climbing, walking, driving, living and working more independently.
Watch Dave’s five year celebration video here!
I have said it before, it feels like I’m in a self-fulfilling loop. I have committed to myself that I will work hard if I see progress. I have worked hard, and I have made quite a bit of progress, but I know I can get even better. And so, I will continue to work hard in hopes of making more progress.