Man returns to thank Fort Walton Beach hospital staff who helped him walk again

One year ago, Jim Curry woke up paralyzed from the neck down in the ICU at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital after suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury from a fall.  […]

Source: HCA Florida

One year ago, Jim Curry woke up paralyzed from the neck down in the ICU at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital after suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury from a fall. 

  • On Tuesday, Curry returned to the hospital to thank the staff who cared for him and helped him regain his ability to walk during his months-long recovery.

“This is our hometown hospital, and the level of professionalism that I encountered here was just overwhelming,” said Curry at the emotional reunion with staff. “It’s been a long year, and I’m back here today to thank all the people at this facility that worked so hard to help me along the way.”

Curry spent weeks in the ICU and was later transferred to a spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. When the injury first occurred, he lost all sensation and mobility below his neck.

  • “You feel very vulnerable,” described Curry. “You’re not sure you’re going to be able to put that foot in front of the other.”

But with the encouragement and dedicated care of staff like RN Melissa Killian, Curry slowly regained mobility through intensive physical therapy. 

“We don’t always get to see the other side of things, so it’s very heartwarming to be able to see the difference we can make,” said Killian about reuniting with Curry.

One year later, Curry is now able to walk again but says he still faces a long road of recovery ahead. However, he wanted to celebrate his 65th birthday on Tuesday by returning to show his appreciation to the hospital staff who made his recovery possible.

“I’m 65 today, and it’s a much better birthday today than it was when I turned 64,” said Curry.

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News reel – 09/10/2023