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Never Giving Up: Chris’s Friendship Motivates Him to Keep Improving

In the late night of December 2000, Chris McDowell was involved in a car wreck after hitting black ice and was later found in the cold in the early morning. Chris was found with a broken collar bone and right arm and suffered a traumatic brain injury after having a stroke due to an outer hematoma. Chris was in a coma in the hospital for an extended period and then was admitted to a nearby rehabilitation facility and soon transferred to our NeuroRestorative Ashland, KY, program.

When Chris came to NeuroRestorative, his speech was slurred; he was in a wheelchair, unable to walk and do daily living tasks. He struggled with memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulsivity. Right away, our therapy team put together an individualized care plan, so Chris could focus on his goals and return to being as independent as possible.

“I wished I found NeuroRestorative sooner. I would recommend you to anybody who is going through something similar,” said Ella, Chris’s mother. “All of his therapies have helped—cognitive, physical, occupational, and speech. Not only that, but the staff makes Chris do what he needs to do. Raymond Coleman, Team Led, LST, has been a huge motivator for Chris. He reminds him every day of his goals.”

Ray and Chris have created a special bond after spending time together over the years, especially during COVID. “We grew pretty close during COVID. I was and still currently cut his hair and beard. Sometimes all you need is a friend. And he got that,” said Ray. “He has come a long way with his memory and mobility. We set goals together and hold one another accountable.”

Today, Chris is doing well and has made considerable strides. He can walk using a quad walker, has improved his memory and is able to complete daily living tasks such as laundry, money management, organization, etc., and has better breathing and reading levels. In addition, he is passionate about drawing, poetry, writing his story, and enjoys listening to music with those around him. “This place is like a second home. I consider everyone here my second family. Everyone is so nice,” said Chris. His future goals are to get his GED and get back to work.

When asked what advice he would give to someone going through something similar, Chris replied, “never give up.”

 

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