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Aug 11 2010
RIM/Mike Utley Scholars - Week 1
Category: Hospital Spotlight



For the next few weeks, the DMC Social Media Team is presenting a special video series on YouTube about the scholarship receipients from this year's recent DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM)/Mike Utley Golf Outing event, who are each receiving one month of aggressive therapy at RIM/Mike Utley Center for Human Performance for their spinal-cord related injuries. Mike Utley, a former Detroit Lion, was paralyzed in a NFL game in 1991 and had since started the Mike Utley Foundation to help others with spinal-cord injuries.

Every Wednesday - Friday, we will be featuring a "video diary" entry from each of the three scholars (pictured above from left-to-right: Leighton, Emily, Mathew) during their week of physical rehabilitation over at RIM from August through September. Mike Utley, a former Detroit Lion, was paralyzed in a NFL game in 1991 and had since started the Mike Utley Foundation to help others with spinal-cord injuries.


Please click below to view Leighton's "Week 1" video diary entry (or click this link
here to watch).


Leighton Lillie was injured on Feb 7, 2009, while racing as a professional motorcycle racer in Tulsa, OK.  Leighton had been a professional racer for 8 years when the injury occurred.  He was diagnosed as a T6-T7 ASIA A para.  Leighton began racing motorcycles at the age of five and rose to the top of his field prior to his accident.  Today Leighton is classified as a T8 injury ASIA B.  He recently spent 5 months in Redmond, WA at Pusing Boundaries before returning to his hometown of Lewiston, ID, where he continues rehabing with a trainer at Golds Gym. Leighton plans to apply his strong work ethic to his goal of walking again. Leighton has great support from the small town where he gret up as the community had been following his racing career and now are following his recovery.


Please click below to view Emily's "Week 1" video diary entry (or click this link here to watch).


Emily as on a weekend trip with her brother, cousins and friends floating down the Illinois River near Tahlequah, OK, when midway down the course she dove from a tree overhanding the river.  Emily had inspected the area, but it turned out to be much more shallow than expected, and she hit the bottom of the riverbed crushing her C5 Vertebrae.  After hearing about RIM's Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery (CSCIR) from a friend at the therapy center in Houston, TX, where she was receiving OP therapy, Emily spent two month in the Summer of 2008 and the Summer of 2009 at CSCIR in Detroit.  Emily resides in Bucklin, KS, where she works full time at a John Deere Dealership in the bookkeeping department.  Emily would like to go back to school and obtain her MBA.  Emily ultimately hopes to be able to live on her own and one day marry and have a family.


Please click below to view Mathew's "Week 1" video diary entry (or click this link here to watch).


Mathew was alone on a vacation in Cancun when, while standing hip deep in the ocean, a wave drove him headfirst into the sand.  Mathew was then pulled back out in the ocean where he nearly drowned.  A nurse from Livonia, MI saw what happened and rescued him from the water.  Mathew was then Med-Evacted from Mexico to Florida.  He was diagnosed as C-6 Incomplete.  Before his accident, Mathew was a General Manager of a Country Club in Michigan.  He had previously worked as a Chef in a number of Detroit Area Restaurants.  He also was very physically fit and had been training to run a marathon.  Mathew had been at the peak of his career with a job he loved when his life was flipped upside down.  He now is working at buildling his strength back and is surrounded by a strong support team while he pursues his dream of walking again.  Mathew has volunteered to teach a cooking class at RIM for patients in wheelchairs.  He has returned to hunting with a cross bow, bowling and of course cooking.

For more information on the services mentioned above and offered at the DMC RIM Mike Utley Center for Human Performance, please click on the link here. And for information on the entire list of programs offered at DMC Rehabilation Institute of Michigan, visit www.rimrehab.org.


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