Can-Do Spirit Makes Teen Unstoppable

Jeremiah came to Ranken Jordan in June 2019 after suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed below the waist. But that doesn’t slow down the motivated 14-year-old athlete and artist.


Before his injury, Jeremiah played football, basketball and he boxed. He also was cultivating his drawing talents—specifically animé, an animation illustration style. To fuel his imagination, he studied animals, insects and creatures in books, in addition to reading books such as The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.


At Ranken Jordan, the talented teen continues his passion for illustration and reading and is working hard to recover more of his physical abilities.


When Jeremiah first arrived at Ranken Jordan a month after his injury, he was weak and admits to being scared and nervous. By the second day, he was out of his room socializing and ready to work at getting stronger.


“I couldn’t do push-ups or get myself out of bed when I first came,” Jeremiah says. “But they motivate you here. I love everyone here and the staff is like family. There’s a very motivational vibe here.”


Inspired by the team and his own determination, Jeremiah works hard in physical therapy and has greatly improved his upper body strength. Push-ups are a snap for him now.


“My favorite thing is therapy,” Jeremiah says. “It has helped me strengthen my trunk and arms and now I can easily lift myself in and out of bed. It feels good to be able to do it myself. It impresses me to see other patients working hard here, too. It motivates me to work hard to get stronger and become more independent.”


A natural athlete with a positive spirit, Jeremiah quickly became a good golfer at Ranken Jordan. Ranken Jordan offers an accessible junior golf program for children. The hospital grounds include six holes and two putting greens. Last summer, Jeremiah helped kick off Ranken Jordan’s annual golf tournament with a ceremonial tee off.


Jeremiah is focused on the future and driven to lead a full life that includes supporting others to be successful. He says his experience has changed his outlook. “Being here has really opened my eyes and I see a brighter light. I’ve realized it’s a new day of life and I have to get ready for it. And I’ve realized I can do anything in a wheelchair that anyone else can do.”