Gary Melson

Gary Melson, 63, has always been a busy and hardworking man. He lives in Columbia, KY, with his wife. He has worked all his life, and years ago, he started a side business with his dad called M&M Tree Topper. Gary has always enjoyed working outside, which he’s done for over 30 years. When he’s not working, Gary likes racing and loves the outdoors, as well as spending time with his family and grandchildren.

Unfortunately, on what seemed like a regular work day, Gary’s life changed suddenly and dramatically when he fell out of his bucket truck, falling approximately 30 feet to the ground. An air flight transported Gary to University of Louisville Hospital. Gary’s injuries were extensive, including polytrauma, multiple cervical and thoracic spine fractures, pelvic fractures, five broken ribs, and a punctured lung. Gary had a tracheostomy and feeding tube placed and spent about forty days at the hospital.

“I cannot recall anything about the incident,” Gary stated. “It happened so fast. I do not remember being air flighted to the hospital. I barely remember the few days of being there initially.”

“What I do know–and you might not believe me if I told you–but I saw the most beautiful rose garden in my life during my accident,” Gary said with tears in his eyes. “I knew the good Lord was watching out for me.”

Once stabilized, Gary needed intensive inpatient rehabilitation to regain his strength and overall function. Gary’s physicians referred him to Southern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. Gary arrived at SKY facing many challenges, including being unable to turn over, walk, or even use the toilet himself. “I was not able to do anything,” Gary noted. But as an independent and on-the-go individual, Gary was determined to overcome them. “I gave it 100% so I could go home.”

At SKY, Gary made significant progress in regaining his independence. He and his family extended a special thanks to his therapists, Alexsey, Holly, Melanie, Hannah, and Leslie, for their support and ongoing care during his stay. Gary also specifically recognized his nurse, Chad Greene, who helped him walk and adjust to his first night staying in SKY’s new private rooms.

“I cannot say anything bad about these people,” Gary stated. “They are good people at SKY.”

“The new expansion has been awesome. I could not have done this without the love and support of my nurses and therapists. I am walking out of here with no restrictions on food and walking with a walker.”

Having completed his inpatient therapy stay, Gary discharged home. “My goal was to walk out of here, and I am!” Gary will continue his recovery with an outpatient therapy program closer to his home in Adair County.