Click for our latest updates on COVID-19

Main Content

Back to Work and Life After an On-the-Job Injury

September 01, 2020

Adam Driver was on the job on the Nebraska prairie when he found himself buried under a payloader bucket and the ton of dirt it had been carrying. He and his coworker had been setting fence posts for The Crane Trust when the payloader broke and fell on top of Adam. His coworker dug him out immediately, and as he waited for the ambulance to arrive, Adam realized that he couldn't move his legs.

Adam’s life was forever changed by this accident, but it didn’t change everything about his life. After spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation at Craig, he is back to work part-time at The Crane Trust in Nebraska as their Facilities Manager, he's coaching track and field, and he's still going strong with his girlfriend, Michelle, who was there for him throughout his rehab. "My support system is great. Not everyone has that. It has been a lifesaver to say the least," says Adam.

Like most patients in SCI rehabilitation, it was challenging for Adam to adjust to the new reality of his body, his new normal. He had very little back strength in the beginning, which limited his overall movement. Undaunted, Adam worked hard from day one in all of his therapies so that he could leave Craig and get back to his life. Two months later, Adam wheeled out of Craig and returned to his job, his girlfriend and his life.

Adam Driver and girlfriend Michelle

Back at The Crane Trust in Nebraska, Adam is so glad to be back on the job and with his coworkers managing their beautiful facilities. He’s also returned coaching track and field and can add award-winning to his resume: he was named the Midwest Regional Female Athletes Assistant Coach of the year last year for his coaching. Adam accomplishes both of his jobs from his wheelchair, and he says he hopes that he shows his athletes “that you can overcome any setback in life. You just can’t be afraid to try.”

Craig Hospital grad Adam Fisher fishing

Life isn’t just about work, though, and Adam is living his to the fullest. He continues to explore and get outside with Michelle, especially since his brand new track chair can get him out on the trails and in the woods. Adam takes on new rehabilitation challenges and reaches new milestones, like walking for the first time since his accident with the help of an exoskeleton on a recent return visit to Craig. He even took on the challenge of building a house in the spring and summer of 2020, and you can read an update on that process on our Instagram page.

The payloader accident in 2014 may have altered Adam’s life, but it hasn’t stopped him from living the life he wants.

Download Adam’s case study.