My name is Tylor, and on August 21, 2017, my life changed. Before this happened I was a Glazier, a Glazier is a person who installs Windows, I worked for a company that worked on all the glass for commercial buildings. The last job I was on was the Country Club Towers in Cherry Creek. Although this was a very dangerous job I absolutely loved it, being on the edge of a building 300 feet in the air installing glass was an adrenaline rush. Another passion I have is basketball, I played in a rec league for the past four years, I wasn’t the best but I loved being out there. I have a six-year-old son who loves to keep me busy, one of his favorite things to do is hiking. I’m pretty sure that we have hiked every trail in Red Rocks and it is a beautiful place. And through my new journey, I will continue to find ways to do the things that I love.
On August 21, 2017 my little brother and I were on our way home from work, he was the driver I was the passenger. We were on 74th and federal making a left-hand turn, and you can’t see oncoming traffic very well. The light was turning red so we went through the intersection to get out of it and a big truck hit us. I was not wearing a seatbelt, as soon as the truck hit us the latch to my door broke which caused my door to. I was ejected from the vehicle, launched toward the truck and was hit by the truck, and launched 30 feet to the other side of the intersection. My little brother hit his head on the windshield, and when he woke up he looked over and realized I was not the truck. He got out of the truck to look for me and laid down next to me. I don’t remember any of the accident he said I kept saying that I can’t feel my legs. Thankfully my brother walked away only needing a few stitches.
When I woke up I was at Denver Health, and since I didn’t remember the accident I had no idea what was going on. The only thing that I did know is that I was in a hospital and I could not move. And though my family already knew that I was paralyzed because of the doctors, I didn’t tell anybody that I couldn’t feel or move my legs for a few days after waking up. The first surgery that they did was through the front of my neck, they put a hardware in to try to stabilize my spine. A few days later they realized that that hardware had failed and I would have to have another surgery. This time they went through the back of my neck and fused my spine from C-5 to T-2. The vertebrae that broke were C-1, C-6, C-7. My spinal cord was damaged at C-6 and C-7. After surgery, 46 Staples sewed me up with the titanium plate, 2 rods, and some screws holding them together inside. After three weeks at Denver Health, I was transferred to Craig Hospital. At the time I did not realize how lucky I was to be in such a great place. I had never heard of it until this point and I am blessed that I was able to do my inpatient rehab at Craig. When I first got there I could not feed myself, I could not stay out of bed for more than an hour without getting low blood pressure and being lightheaded, I could barely move my arms, and my nerve pain in my arms and hands was out of control. My whole time at Denver Health I felt hopeless and that my life was over, Craig changed that. The first couple days was just initial testing, getting my blood pressure under control so that I could tolerate being in my wheelchair for longer, and getting my nerve pain under control. After that was taken care of, and it didn’t take them long, I began therapy. Once the therapy started, with a little hard work, I realized what was possible and that I had a chance to be happy with life. After the first week of therapy I achieved my first goal of being able to feed myself. I understood that I still needed help to set the food up but I was able to feed myself. My next goal was to be able to transfer with the slide board in and out of bed and from chair to chair. At first I needed a lot of assistance to accomplish this, but again I worked hard and practiced every day so that now I can transfer myself. Again I still need help because I cannot hold my balance but I have the strength to slide on my own. My family was amazing through this whole process. They would come to Craig to visit me and to learn how to help me so that when it came time for me to go home they would know what to do.
On November 24, 2017 I was discharged from Craig Hospital. I was a little nervous to come home and not have the security of someone being around all the time. But when I got home I was so happy to be there and I didn’t feel uncomfortable. My family made the transition so easy. I did not have home healthcare set up so I had to rely on family members to take care of me. The training that we received at Craig helped us accomplish this. As time went on my family members were starting to get ready to go back to work. I then made a doctors appointment to talk to them about healthcare. This is how I found Pasco. The day that I came home, I started researching possibilities to receive help. My house was not handicap accessible so it made things very difficult. To take a shower I had to roll down to the rec center and shower there. So I started researching foundations that could help remodel the bathroom and house in order for me to be able to function at home. I found a foundation called the homebuilders foundation and when on their website to fill out the application. Within three weeks of the application they contacted me and approved my application. It did take them a few months to get all the work done but it was definitely worth the wait. They are also installing a wheelchair lift so that I can get out the front door and down the steps, this is the last thing that I am waiting for. The bed that I slept on for the first month that I was home had to have a foam mattress over the top that was smaller than the bed so I kept falling off of the foam mattress on to the regular mattress. It also made transferring in and out of bed extremely difficult. I started researching foundations that would help purchase a new bed. This is when I found the Travis Roy Foundation. I got on their website and filled out the application, two weeks later they contacted me and asked me to send them quotes for beds. I chose a sleep number bed with adjustable base and sent them the invoice. One month later I was sleeping in my new bed and it made my life a lot easier. I have also researched many more foundations that can help people in my situation with a lot of different things.
PASCO has been amazing, as soon as they got my referral from my doctors office they contacted me right away. Within one week I was on their schedule for home healthcare. I have had no problems with their services, aids, or staff and they have all been amazing working with me to make sure that I have everything I need. They have also given me the opportunity to share my story and help others in my situation. There is no doubt that this is a long hard road but there is still so much we can do. With PASCO’s platform I would like to help people and show them that we can still live very fulfilled lives.