Meet Chuck

Chuck, a passionate musician, finds his way back to music and community after a car accident left him paralyzed, bedridden and seeking hope.

Chuck’s Story: At 21 years old, a major car accident left Chuck paralyzed and looking to rediscover his love for music. Questioning his recovery, Chuck admits he was “not a happy camper.” Then all at once he had a change of heart. “It was like a switch,” he says. “Life works better when you appreciate people.”

Chuck spent more than a year in the hospital and was bedridden at home for another year after that. When he finally felt ready to begin physical therapy, he took to it with everything he could muster. With each day, Chuck began regaining control of his legs and arms. After six years, Chuck was once again able to play his beloved drums. Now Chuck makes regular trips to the library to play out front. He even brings extra drums so the people passing by can stop and join in. Chuck credits The Coordinating Center with playing a huge part of getting him back out in public again, both physically and mentally. “No way I’d be where I am without The Coordinating Center.”

In May 2016, Chuck earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from Carrol Community College specializing in computer-aided drafting. In addition to graduating, Chuck found another success that day: he achieved his once-daunting goal to walk at graduation. It took years after the accident for Chuck to even consider walking again. Assisted by a gait trainer, Chuck began practicing his walk at his physical therapy sessions. After a year, he had walked a total of 8 miles. On the day of commencement, each graduate was called to walk across stage and receive their diploma. Just when everyone thought the ceremony was complete, the announcer called Chuck’s name. The audience erupted in applause as Chuck began walking carefully across the stage with an infectious grin.

Our Impact: Chuck’s Service Coordinator helped connect him to a physical therapist who understood Chuck’s goals. His Service Coordinator also encouraged him to get involved in the community. Now Chuck makes regular trips to the library to play his drums outside of the building and connect with members of the community.