QLI is proud of the work that we do. We expect to be the best – and then we strive to be even better. QLI has always had satisfied customers. But our goal is to engender more than just satisfaction from our clients, their families, and our funding and referral sources. We work tirelessly to become viewed as a trusted partner in the rehabilitation process.
At the age of 43, Vanessa was met with a challenge that she never saw coming. This artist and mother of two college-age boys suffered a life-altering stroke at her home in Ashland, NE. Two months later, she found herself living in a nursing home, her recovery stalled. She was waiting for a spark.
“If she didn’t come to QLI, Vanessa would still be sitting in a wheelchair in that nursing home. She wouldn’t be walking. She wouldn’t be able to talk to me. She wouldn’t be painting again. And she definitely wouldn’t be working or driving a car like she is today. What Vanessa has accomplished amazes me every day,” said Vanessa’s sister, Tina.
Vanessa accomplished so many milestones at QLI. She progressed from being unable to even roll herself over in bed to ultimately walking independently, bowling, singing karaoke, acquiring a volunteer job, and actively pursuing her passion for painting again.
Vanessa’s speech improved considerably, and even though it’s still not perfect, when asked about her time at QLI, Vanessa was able to say, “They gave me back my speech, my walking, and my arms.” The words still don’t come easily, but it would be hard to say it any better than that.
On the first day of her job on an archaeological dig in New Mexico, Tess’ life changed in an instant. She sustained both anoxic and traumatic brain injuries after she was struck by lightning. Tess’ body and spirit were broken and came to QLI with a sharp awareness of everything she had lost. This free-spirited, fun loving, and fiercely independent young woman was facing the challenge of her life.
When asked about moving from the hospital to QLI, Tess said, “When I first moved to QLI, I was extremely nervous. The idea of being on my own after my injury was scary. Getting used to new people was overwhelming, but I instantly clicked with my therapists. Moving somewhere new is always a challenge in the beginning, but the staff really do go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.
“The staff at QLI takes time to find out what makes us happy – what pushes and motivates us. They discovered what made me happy. QLI helped me return to the old me.”
Tess’ mother Kate added, “Everyone at QLI seemed to know Tess. That made her feel special. She really responded to humor, and making her laugh again was so crucial to her recovery.” When Tess arrived at QLI, she was in a wheelchair, unable to speak, and unwilling to even lift her head. She walked out of QLI with her head held high and a renewed sense of confidence and determination as she looked forward to the next chapter of her life.
Life can take some unexpected turns, and one turn impacts my life every day. I was living and working on Sanibel Island in Florida when I lost control of my motorcycle on an evening ride. The crash left me with an incomplete C5-C6 spinal cord injury and changed my life forever.
I was 30 at the time of my injury with a lot of life still to be lived. But as I laid in my hospital bed, weeks after the accident, I realized that I had no idea what that life would look like. Questions and doubts began to creep into my mind – and then I learned about QLI and the program that they could offer me.
The six months I spent at QLI made an absolutely huge impact on my life. In fact, I’m not sure how a rehabilitation program could go much better. When I arrived at QLI, I was dependent on others for almost every aspect of my day. By the time I left, I was entirely independent. I made terrific physical progress while at QLI, but the most important thing for me was that I began to see a clear path forward again in my life.
Life has gone well for me since my time at QLI. I’ve married my best friend, Erin, and we are the proud parents of four sons, Hudson and Lawson, Landen and Holden. We designed and built an accessible home and have created a full, happy life together. These days, I spend my time working part-time at a job I love, mentoring others with spinal cord injuries at QLI, competing in wheelchair rugby, scuba diving and I just finished a half marathon. My life today is definitely different than I would have ever imagined, and I wouldn’t change a thing!