Starting Over

Being a high school senior is arguably an exciting time in any young person’s life. Standing on the cusp of adulthood and looking forward to the new experiences awaiting you in college, Adam was excited about his future. A motorcycle enthusiast, he spent a great deal of time working on and riding around on his bike. Always safety minded, Adam also never went anywhere without his helmet. Unfortunately, one day, in the summer before college, Adam was riding his motorcycle home when he was involved in a multi-car collision which left him with a permanent spinal cord injury and wheelchair bound.

Imagine being ready to begin the rest of your life, only to have that dream dissipate into thin air. Adam struggled through a rocky rehabilitation experience which was compounded by medical complications from his injuries. An independent, athletic, highly-motivated young man before his accident, Adam justifiably had a difficult time adjusting to his new existence. Having to re-learn how to do even the most basic things was a challenge, and depression and self-doubt set in.

However, with time, and with the help of family, friends, and team of therapists, nurses, and physicians, Adam began to create a new life for him. He moved into an accessible private home and with the help of the Office of Student Disability, began to take classes at his local university. The OSD was able to work with Adam to provide note-takers, electronic textbooks, voice-activated software and test-taking accommodations in order to help him take classes. He has gone on to become an active part of his school’s student government and disability commission, a mentor to other individuals with spinal cord injuries, and has also embraced the life of a typical college student. Adam acknowledges that the road has not been easy, but that by taking advantage of the resources available to him, he has been able to regain control of his life and is once again, in charge of shaping what his future looks like.

Sravanthi Dama M.D.

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