Improving the quality of life with educational and recreational opportunities for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Where do I begin? 

I’m Gregory Budd Johnson Sr. and I can honestly say I never saw September 11th 2019 coming. Growing up in Cleveland and Euclid, Ohio and being the oldest boy, going to the store was my duty. I loved it because it gave me a chance to take a walk. I played football in high school and I wasn’t fast, but I could run for days. But, I haven’t been able to feel that rush of just taking off in over a year and a half. 

In September 2019, I was involved in a 2-car accident with the airbag knocking me unconscious. When I woke up, I experienced something for the first time ever – I couldn’t move! “Wait a minute,” I thought, “I can’t move? Let me try this left arm, nope! Nope? HELPPP!!!  I’m A truck driver.  How is this possible? I skipped the part of being a highly excited father driving tanker trucks. Now, I’m asking people to take me out of my beautiful car I just wrecked.” 

In a split second my life changed. Just like that I was waiting for an ambulance. The whole time wondering why I couldn’t move anything below my neck. Nine hours later I was out of surgery that repaired my 3rd-5th vertebrae in my neck, needing rods on both sides of my neck. I thank God for those surgeons everyday and couldn’t imagine where I’d be without the staff and doctors at MetroHealth. The rehab doctors were always so encouraging and intelligent that it prepared me mentally for this new life. 

I did rehab at two different facilities and I owe so much of my success to the therapists there for planting the seeds in my healing journey. My life has changed so much and I appreciate life so much more.  It hasn’t been all bad. The first 6 to 18 months were the hardest. So many adjustments have to be made for you and by you. So blessed to have captured the gains I have. I am a member at the Buckeye Wellness Center and still do therapy at MetroHealth. I am gifted to have a future wife that’s been in the health field for over 20 years. Shanna went above and beyond and still today she amazes me. The day I was released from rehab after four months (January 2nd), she was giving birth to our Gerney Marie three hours later. I have seen so many people wonder off but she has not complained once. I am thankful for her, Brandon, Aaron, and Bruce (RIP). 

If I could say anything to people who haven’t experienced what living with a SCI or any other neurological situation it would be this: “We are the same person today, as we were before our injury. It’s just that some things need to be altered a bit now. And to all my friends living with SCI, let’s connect on Instagram: @bottom2datop_78, or search Gregory Johnson Sr. on Facebook. If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, I am here for you.

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