Jeremy Harper came to SKY Rehab to regain his ability to walk after sustaining head and back injuries

Jeremy Harper

We’ve all heard the expression “the Lord works in mysterious ways,” but this couldn’t be any truer than it is for Jeremy Harper!

Following a drug-fueled argument, Jeremy found himself walking alone above a creek bank in late August. Attempting to reach the bank to go swimming, he lost his footing and fell, sustaining head and back injuries.  Unable to move, Jeremy thought he had possibly broken his back. To make matters worse, he had no way of letting anyone know where he was or that he needed help.

Unfortunately, excessive rain caused the water level to rise, carrying him further downstream. Still unable to move, he was forced to hang onto a tree branch throughout the night until a passerby the next day heard his cries for help.

Jeremy was initially admitted to the University of Louisville’s trauma unit. He spent 13 days there before transferring to SKY Rehab to begin his long road to recovery. Fearing that he would never walk again, Jeremy did everything that was asked of him by his therapists. But Jeremy was getting discouraged by what seemed like a lack of progress. Then on the 21st day, Jeremy’s legs began to respond and he knew that he was going to walk again. “I was really discouraged up until that point,” Jeremy recalled. “When that happened I really became passionate about doing my therapies and it made me feel so good!”

“Holly, my therapist, worked me so hard and that was okay because it worked.”

At first, Jeremy was able to stand in the parallel bars and take a couple of steps. Those steps progressed to a couple of feet, and then that progressed into walking the entire hospital.

Thirty-seven days after admitting to SKY, Jeremy discharged home, walking with the use of a walker.

To build upon the progress he had made, Jeremy chose to continue his therapies with the outpatient department at SKY. “I came to therapy twice a week, gave it everything I had each time, and I loved it! My body really started to respond to what we were doing and eventually I was walking with a cane. I had another back surgery and it helped me 100% and I don’t have nearly as much pain as I used to.”

Jeremy went on to say that his success is due in part to those who provided him with care, both inpatient and outpatient. They encouraged him and never let him give up. At the end of the day, he was left feeling good about himself and the progress he was making.

“I wouldn’t take back what happened, not for any amount of money! Just the experience of learning to walk again…it was amazing. I may look the same but I am a completely different person!”

Jeremy’s progression didn’t stop once he discharged from outpatient therapy. Jeremy continues to work hard each day and is now able to walk up-and-down stairs, get in-and-out of a car without issue. He can stand on one leg and now has a normal stride when walking.

Jeremy is beyond thankful for the silver lining that resulted from his accident. In the five months since his accident, he is no longer abusing drugs, is repairing his relationships with his parents, sister, and grandparents, and he is continuing to nurture and build upon the relationship he now has with God. SKY Rehab is grateful that Jeremy allowed us to be a part of his recovery and we know that he will continue to thrive and succeed in all of his endeavors.