More about me

August, 2016

On April 5, 1988, I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle. I was in a coma for 5 days and nearly lost my leg. The picture below is me in the hospital that evening. 

This blog is called NEWFAZE because we’re all in a “New Phase” of our lives every moment, every breath. However great or rotten the previous moments have been, we have no idea what the next ones will be like. It’s our job to make them great. For others and for ourselves. 

Feeling much better today, thank you

My journey begins, 5 April, 1988, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA – picture taken by my Dad, RIP

Since that accident I’ve gotten a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and completed 11 Iron distance triathlons. Swim 2.4 miles, bicycle 112 miles, run 26.2 miles. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in October of 2013. This is a picture my brother Shane took at the finish line of my first Iron distance triathlon, the Duke Blue Devil in Raleigh, NC on 11 October, 2003: 

At the finish of my first LONG triathlon (140.6 miles, 14 hrs 49 minutes)

At the finish of my first LONG triathlon (140.6 miles, 14 hrs 49 minutes), picture taken by my brother Shane, 11 October, 2003

I work one on one with people with a wide variety of disabilities. Currently I work with people with autism spectrum disorders and acquired brain injuries. In the past I have worked with people with developmental disabilities, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s, seizure disorders and a number of other disabilities. I began in 1994. I learn again and again and again and again that, with zero exceptions, each person is much more similar to me than they are different. We all just want to be happy, which provides a great starting point for our working relationship.

6 Responses to More about me

  1. Yeowie!! You are a miracle! And a great one at that! For those of us striving to live by Mr Butts’s philosophy that you get what you expect in life…. You are the ultimate!
    Not that you expected that horrible accident (but maybe the other guy had a lot of negativity), but that you keep on expecting good stuff…and, appreciating every beautiful minute.

  2. Thanks Susie. When I list the influences that have gotten me where I am, I invariably respond with these: Camp, the cabin, Gonzaga. Of course the REAL influences are my Mom, Dad and family, as you know. But they got me to the three places I mentioned.

    I like to think that the other guy did not have a lot of negativity. This is amazing – I was talking with Gus about this precise subject last night!! I always imagine the other guy as being me. Whatever Force drives the Universe – assuming there is one other than chance – had lessons for me and lessons for him. So far, mine have profited me enormously. I hope his lessons have been even more helpful to him than mine have been to me. It’s all about the choices.

  3. Mike McLaughlin says:

    Life, in May, 1988, had some unintended consequences, not all bad. Shane spent night after night in your room, leaving only when kicked out by staff. I suggested that he study while he was with you. He said no, he was there for you, not for school.

    Later, I think maybe in November, he was home, and walked into our bedroom. He said that he was going to get a degree in Engineering. I questioned him, and he replied “I’ve learned I don’t have to do everything the easy way.”

    I attribute that to what he learned the hard way, your hard way, sitting in that room at MCV, with you.

  4. Andrew says:

    I don’t know if this relates to your story at all, but I heard this story on the radio this morning and the story about Shane being there for you- not school- made me think about it:
    Harmon Killebrew, the Hall-of-Fame baseball player from the Minnesota Twins who just died this week, often shared this story from his youth:
    He was playing catch with his father in the yard. His mother comes out and says that they should play somewhere else because they were killing the grass that was growing there. Killebrew’s dad says to her, “I’m not raising grass, I’m raising a son.”

  5. Ronnie Gurganus says:

    Jay, you are more inspirational than Steak and Shrimp night at Hibbs. Now that is something to be proud and humble about! Now go and take some more pictures down by the river. -Ronnie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

  6. Pingback: Throw it up against the wall… | NEWFAZE

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