Clint Pushes On !
Clint Cook from Woodstock Georgia, is a C 5-6 incomplete quad. In 1988, Clint broke his neck in a car accident in his hometown of Woodstock, Georgia. Clint and his best friend were out shooting pool one night and when the pool hall closed they were leaving when another friend pulled up in his new Z28 Camaro. The friend had just bought a new Trans Am, so they decided they would race to see who's car was faster.
Clint lost control of his car in a bad curve and they ran off the road hitting a dirt embankment. Clint's car started flipping head over heals not sideways and Clint was ejected through the T-Tops. On the second flip, Clint was out of the car and the car landed back on top of him, wrapping Clint between the tire and the engine. Clint broke his neck on the way out of the car. Then when it landed on Clint, he was stuck to the engine, Clint was being burned until a towed truck was called and lifted the weight of the car off of him and they were able to pull Clint off the engine compartment.
Clint was in concession the whole time but in shock so he didn't feel any pain. Clint was life flighted to their local hospital. The first thing Clint remembers in the hospital was waking up to the doctors drilling holes in his head to put him in traction to stabilize his neck and hearing them telling him, he was going to live but that Clint would never walk again. It wasn't for a couple of days that Clint found out that his best friend did not survive the accident.
This was the beginning of a very long journey. Clint spent the first 30 days in the ICU where they were just trying to keep him alive, not because of his spinal cord injury but because he was burnt so badly from being stuck to the engine. The second 30 days were up, Clint was upgraded to double ICU and now that he was stable enough they could start doing surgery to repair his spinal cord injury and begin doing skin graphs on his back.
After a couple of failed skin graphs, the doctors discovered that Clint's ribs had been burnt so the skin graphs would not take. Eventually, the doctors had to do another surgery to cut the burned tips of my ribs off. The next 30 days after that, Clint spent on the rehab floor in the general hospital until he was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Clint was there four months doing physical and occupational therapy and learning how to live his life in a wheelchair. Once Clint was discharged he started doing outpatient therapy five days a week for another six months.
Clint says , "When I'm working with someone with a new spinal cord injury, I always tell them not to wait until they are walking to enjoy their life. Yes it's great if you do walk again, but don't put off life just because you're in a wheelchair. "I guess the biggest thing I have learned is that most people don't understand disabilities which is not any fault of their own. It's just because they have never been around someone with a disability". Clint also writes for his friend's website IPush which features stories of individuals pushing through their disability.