"It was just an average fire at a two-story commercial building," says Brendan, a Detroit Firefighter. "There was no sign it would collapse when all of a sudden the entire second story just spilled onto the sidewalk. I thought I was fortunate because I was the only one who had time to run away, but I was still hit with debris."
Lying on the ground, Brendan tried to push himself up and couldn’t. He knew instantly what happened, he had a spinal cord injury.
He spent the next two months in the hospital dealing with several complications; after his release, he knew exactly where he wanted to rehab.
"The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is such a powerful place – it’s positive and everyone wants to be there, patients and staff. It’s the exact environment I needed. I started outpatient therapy at RIM’s Sterling Heights Center and worked hard to get strong enough to be accepted into RIM’s Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery program downtown."
Brendan says he’s really impressed with how therapists not only help you with your physical recovery, but mentally and socially too.
"You really form a special bond with your therapists. At the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, I don’t feel like they’re just going through the motions. They really want to play an important part in your recovery."
Today Brendan uses a wheelchair; but he says it’s way too early to tell how far his rehabilitation will take him.