Rob Ball, a participant in NeuroRestorative Florida’s program in Sarasota, was injured in a car accident which impacted his memory, communication and physical abilities.
“I only remember the accident. Nothing else after,” said Ball, a 46-year-old who has been living in the Sarasota program for seven and a half years. Rob was in a coma immediately following the accident. When he awoke, he was as a different person, unable to care for himself, work or function independently.
Prior to the accident, Rob was a cabinet maker.
“I did cabinet and woodwork for both residential and commercial clients. I made a lot of cabinets for boats too,” he said.
After waking up from the coma, Rob was unable to return to work. In addition to the traumatic brain injury he sustained in the accident, his physical injuries, including his wrist flexion contracture, continue to prevent him from being able to fully use his hands. Today, Rob has committed himself to regaining strength in his hands – something he’s done with the help of NeuroRestorative’s prevocational program. The program is designed to equip participants with skills necessary to obtain employment.
As part of the prevocational program, Rob tackles projects that require him to use his hands– he earns money by cleaning up the Sarasota program’s kitchens, picking up trash, assisting with recycling, tracking inventory, and ensuring supplies are stocked.
“This type of work is extremely good physical and mental rehab for me,” he said.
As Rob has healed from his physical injuries over time, including regaining his ability to walk, he has been able to return to volunteering at his church. Prior to the accident, Rob also served as an acolyte at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, about a 15-minute drive south of downtown Sarasota.
“The church (St. Boniface Episcopal Church) that I still go to is where I was baptized. Before the accident, I was assisting during the church’s services. Now I go to church again. I also go to pottery classes and the gym every week,” he said.
“I’ve been saying my journey is in God’s hands – it will be God’s choice,” added Rob, regarding his next step of discharging from NeuroRestorative to live independently in the Sarasota area. After years of hard work and receiving the support of others, including NeuroRestorative Florida’s program in Sarasota, Rob is now ready for this transition.
“We’re excited for Rob. He’s come a long way. We wish him the best and will continue to support him as he transitions out of our program,” said Shannon Fimple, Program Director, NeuroRestorative Florida’s program in Sarasota.