Andrew was biking with his friends on the day his life was changed forever by a drunk driver. He survived the accident. But with severe brain injuries that seriously limited his range of motion. Discomfort and muscle rigidity became daily struggles.
In the face of his new reality, Andrew was determined to redefine the limits of what he could do. He organized a Brain Injury Awareness walk that has since taken place in Australia, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, the US and various parts of Canada. As a member of the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) program, he makes presentations to high school students about bicycle safety and alcohol-related accidents.
Dissatisfied with the support he was receiving, Andrew came to Spark after hearing from a friend about our level of commitment to our clients. After hearing his story, we connected him with Bonnie and Kathleen. Like Andrew, they are athletic and driven, always looking to push themselves and try new things. Bonnie and Andrew bonded immediately over their love of triathlons. Andrew is a perfectionist. He often gets frustrated when his progress isn’t fast enough. Luckily, Bonnie is a perfectionist too. She understands when he gets frustrated, and is able to relate and effectively encourage him.
One of Andrew’s dreams was to swim again. With her aquatics background, Bonnie began teaching him every week, with support from Kathleen in the pool. Initially, Andrew struggled with balance. Kathleen had to operate a waist belt that would help him stay upright.
Now Andrew can move in the pool on his own, with his waist belt floating in front of him. On their drives he teaches Bonnie and Kathleen French, and laughs with them when their pronunciation is less than perfect. Kathleen supports him in his woodworking classes and his cognitive therapy sessions. Andrew continues to push his limits. We are proud to stand beside him.