We’re already receiving applications for our 2022 scholarship program. Meanwhile, we’re taking a moment each month to honor one of our 2021 180 Medical Scholarship recipients on the blog. So far, you’ve met Linden, Logan, and Lauren. Now we want to introduce you to a special young man who’s conquering a lot of challenges after his spinal cord injury. Meet Nicholas!
Meet Nicholas, 2021 Spinal Cord Injury Scholarship Recipient
Nicholas has always thrived on challenges, viewing them as opportunities for growth. Early on, he displayed a passion and a talent for physical activity and sports.
Gymnastics is where he truly hit his stride. He began working on aerial stunts on the trampoline. “Through this acrobatic art, I expressed my creativity,” says Nicholas. “It even acted as meditation and emotional release.”
His passion led him to win the California State Championship, and he was riding high during his freshman year of college. Then everything went wrong. During a warm-up exercise on the trampoline, Nicholas landed upside down, which broke his neck.
“The resulting paralysis was immediate,” Nicholas shares. “I lost dexterity in both hands and all sensation and motor function below my chest.”
Learning Independence While Focusing on the Positive
Nicholas could’ve chosen to become bitter after his accident that led to a spinal cord injury. However, he says on the very first night in the hospital, he promised his mom that he wasn’t going to let this make him angry.
“I can say with confidence that it was this decision that has shaped my entire recovery and outlook since my injury,” Nicholas says.
And he definitely had some grueling days ahead of him during rehabilitation therapy at Craig Hospital. He had to relearn how to accomplish daily tasks independently, such as getting dressed, holding a pencil, and more. During that time, he says he learned a lot about himself and his values too.
He shares that even in the middle of mourning, there is still something positive to focus on.
What’s Next for Nicholas?
It’s been nearly 4 years since Nicholas’s accident. He’s been working on recovering while also maintaining his grades in college.
“It has been an extremely slow and difficult journey, but I am now able to walk almost independently with forearm crutches,” he says.
Plus, he shared some more good news. He recently got married over the summer to his girlfriend of over five years. In the meantime, he’s continuing with his career goals in college in Applied Mathematics.
We’re honored to be able to assist Nicholas with reaching his goals through our annual scholarship program. The application period for 2022 is now open. Check it out at www.180medical.com/scholarships.