Nick was 20 years old when he sustained a traumatic brain injury and left tibia-fibula fracture when he was out skiing with friends. Nick was the last of his friends who started to ski down a mountain in Colorado. He hit a rough patch and flew off the edge of the course into a wooded area. Nick hit a tree with his shoulder, head and left leg. Luckily, a snow instructor was out taking a leisurely ski for the day and witnessed the accident.
Without her knowledge of what happened and where, rescuers were concerned that Nick might not have been found.
Nick was admitted as an inpatient to a hospital in Colorado before being transferred to STL to be closer to family. He is one of three boys in a very close-knit, Greek family. Mom would come to most of Nick’s therapy sessions and spend the three hours very active in his recovery. At the time of his accident, Nick was attending school in Colorado where he was a part of the ROTC program. He had plans to join the air-force and was hours away from getting his private pilot’s license. Nick also had plans to start law school after graduation.
Nick’s therapists describe him as personable and outgoing. He made friends with everyone he met at Ranken Jordan, including the patients. Nick once crawled underneath a table to play with a younger patient who was upset about therapies. He was able to calm the patient and the therapist was able to complete the activity she was working on. While he was going to law school, we all felt that he should work in pediatrics instead.
Nick’s major accomplishment in therapy was the first time he ran on a treadmill. It was a major goal of Nick’s because he needed to be able to run two miles for ROTC to be cleared to return. And while we got him this far, Nick still had a lot of progress to make. But Ranken Jordan helped Nick get to the point where he could continue his therapies in Colorado and return to school and the ROTC.