Road to Recovery: Pat Bryan

Desk work is a major part of Pat Bryan's duties as the director for Archer City Ambulance  Service.

"I  mainly just oversee and make sure paperwork is correct.  I'm the go-to guy for problems," Bryan explained.

That's a big change from a few months ago when Bryan was riding in the ambulances and tending to patients.

On april 16th, Bryan was working in an ambulance to save the life of a bee sting patient when a car crashed into it near downtown Wichita Falls. And suddenly his life was changed.

"My diagnosis says that I'm paraplegic, but I've had the benefit of no cord damage," said Bryan. 

But one month after the crash, Bryan was hard at work undergoing physical therapy at Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Wichita Falls.

A few months later, he was back at work at Archer City Ambulance Service.

He told us why: "I don't do well sitting at home.  I am not a home person and I don't see where that helps promote recovery."

For Bryan, working and getting out and about is a form of recovery. And it's paying off.

"What I have now is called parensthesia.  It varies a lot.  It's anywhere from warm, cold, tingling like it's asleep.  Sometimes it's painful. So, it's not a normal sensation but I do have sensation in both legs." 

And that sensation has led to a major triumph at HealthSouth where Bryan now continues outpatient therapy several times a week. 

Since learning of his partial paralysis, Bryan has been determined to get out of his  wheelchair and walk again. And that dream is becoming a reality.

"I can walk with the assistance of a walker," said Bryan.  "The current record is 650 feet, which it took me almost 19 minutes to accomplish, but (laughs) it's not pretty."  "I am already past where they thought I would be completely." 

It's been a hectic year for this EMT, going from a life changing on-the-job accident to slowly walking seven months later. And Bryan says his plan is to continue moving forward, not backward.

"I've never met the driver of the other vehicle.  There's been, to my knowledge, no attempt for contact.  I'm not gonna sue anybody.  There's a lot about my life that's very fortunate and that's just not me." 

Bryan doesn't think the accident ruined his life. He believes it simply changed it. And because of his hard work and a positive attitude, he's already turning his baby steps into major strides along on his long road to recovery.

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