On October 15, Jesse Sternberg’s life was changed dramatically. He was a passenger in a terrible car accident which caused him to become a quadriplegic. Though we can’t take away his pain or frustration, there is one area where we can help, and that is financially.
Jesse was just embarking on his college career when his plans were violently derailed. Jesse was always smart, athletic and mentally tough. His toughness and humor shone through as he was brought into the ER, knowing he had a broken neck and other injuries. He said to the nurse, “Can you call God and have him fix me?”
November 21, 2015
I guess time flies when you’re not having fun too! Given the comments we’ve heard lately, it was time we did another post to bring everyone up-to-date and dispel a few myths.
Things are far from “normal” and that’s one of the many things that upsets Jesse. The fact is there have been no posts because we are all so busy trying to care for and support Jesse as well as do our jobs, work on his therapy and treatment options, take care of the house, pay bills and do all the other things that keep us all so busy these days.
Jesse has continued to amaze everyone at his rehab clinic with his ability to work so hard in therapy, with how fast he catches on and does things and with his pure athleticism. He continues to build up his core and his arms/shoulders. That said, he still has a long way to go (sometimes it feels like it is too long for him) to get to the point where he can do almost everything himself instead of being dependent on others for most all of his activities of daily living. He hates that and who could blame him?
“Things must be getting easier” – not really. True, we’ve learned how to do certain things better, but as far as his injury and his recovery, things really are not getting easier. Possibly the opposite as it has already been over 2 years and his recovery still has so long to go. So the passing of time just builds anxiety and stress as any recovery from spinal cord injury takes a long time and Jesse is part of the immediate gratification generation, not a good mix.
“If there’s anything I can do, just ask…..” – we hear that from many of our friends and really appreciate it. With this update and the large network of people who read these updates and all the people who YOU could forward this to, we are hoping people can help us with the following:
Referrals for a live-in helper for Monday through Friday. He really wants someone closer to his age that he can connect with and enjoy working with on his recovery. Male or Female, good English skills, and most importantly closer to his age than his parents’.
Keep spreading the word. We want to thank everyone again for your generosity and support. But he’s still millions short of what he is going to need over the next 10 years. So please feel free to forward this update to anyone and everyone in your contacts. We are trying to use what little money he has in his medical care fund for new treatments and bringing him wherever we need to for any treatment that can bring back his hands and sensation.
Final words: Jeff Sebert of Sebert Landscaping and Great Impressions Landscaping is not only a great businessman, but he’s a great humanitarian. His company is currently building Jesse a backyard oasis. A place where he can spend time outside with friends, do archery, build bon fires, hit the hot tub and play games. We will post pictures and a more formal thank you on the web site once it’s done, but we had to mention it here since it is happening right now and the gift he’s giving Jesse is nothing short of amazing. Thank you Jeff, Stephen, Lou and everyone working on the project, we can’t thank you enough!
Final words 2: We have a lot of other people to thank and a lot of other people who have made a difference in our lives and Jesse’s. We have a long way to go and we know that if Jesse keeps pushing, eventually he will get enough recovery to be happy again. We love you all and will try to do these posts more often. Thank you for your support.
December 14, 2014
He’s home – finally! 7 hospitals, 12 months, thousands of miles of travel and we finally got him home 4 days before the anniversary of his accident. Our lives are busier than ever, as we are now doing everything we were doing before, plus doing all the things the nurses and assistants did when he was at the different hospitals and facilities.
The good news is he’s home. No more nurses coming in to take his vitals every few hours, no one waking him up for medicines, room cleaning, food delivery, etc. A hospital is no place to get any rest!
His dogs are with him, he has just started to have friends come over to hang out with him, and although all of these things have their downsides, overall I think Jesse is happier to be home than at a hospital.
Our primary goal is to get him out of pain and into a daily routine that keeps him busy, has him doing several hours of rehab whether at home or at out-patient rehab and has him enjoying a little bit of each day.
The house is still under construction, but Jesse continues to fight and impress us everyday. When he’s not in pain, he will still make jokes, come up with interesting conversation and want to do more things with more people. He has started to let people visit with him and he’s really appreciated everyone who has visited and just talked to him as they always would, not focusing on his injury or treating him special. The more “normal” we can make his “new normal” the better.
The battle is still uphill, but we’re hoping we can get to the top soon. There are exciting new developments and procedures for spinal cord injury with the promise of stem cells repairing his injured spine still several years away. We are going to do everything we can to get him any/every treatment he qualifies for. The focus is to get his hands and wrists functioning. It may take the next year or two, but nothing is more important to his quality of life than regaining control of his hands and to some extent his wrists as well.
Please understand that we greatly appreciate all of you and we wish we could communicate better with everyone on a daily basis. Thank you very much – from all 4 of us – for all of your support. We are going to continue to look for both financial and volunteer support as we explore these new treatment options for Jesse.
So thank you – we love and appreciate all of you – from Dave on behalf of Jesse, Kathy and Elliot
December 15, 2014
Jesse, I just happened to stumble on your website. What I found is a person who has immeasurable strength and tenacity. I wish you all the best. Continue to fight, persevere, you are going to get better. Sincerely,
July 17, 2014
What a champion you are Jesse! So wonderful to hear the latest news and the feeling you are getting back. We continue to pray and think of you. Such hard work you are putting in but it is really paying off! Keep on keeping on!
Diane Offenburger and Chris Skidmore
May 28, 2014
Congratulations Jesse on being accepted to the Kennedy Kreiger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland! I know you are going to make HUGE strides in physical therapy there. We are all pulling for you Jesse - keep on getting better! YOU ROCK!
April 23, 2014
We are saddened to hear of your car accident..We are praying for you and will send a gift of currency..Stay calm stay focused, Moses split the sea and Jesus walked on water..love to you, We are Lincoln Prairie..Liza Ohman..Nick De Filippis..Damiane Velez..Pilar Santilli..