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April 16, 2014

Meet John: father and skier; doing what he loves

2014 winter park phone pics 314

John Monteith, father of 13-year-old Charnel and 15 year-old Mackenzie, has a rare autoimmune disease that attacked his nervous system.

Driving home after work, John abruptly started losing sensation and movement in his feet and legs. By the time he arrived home and walked through the front door he collapsed on the floor. Soon he started losing sensation and movement in his hands and arms as well.
John and his family rehabilitated at Craig Hospital where he worked to regain function of his body.

He has recovered sensation and motor functioning in his hands and arms. He has even increased his movement in his legs although he has to use a wheelchair. John has worked with the Therapeutic Recreation Department at Craig Hospital to reconnect with his daughters.

John says, “When you have a disability you sometimes feel like a burden on your family.” Many times my daughters and wife spend a lot time providing care for me. Through the Therapeutic Recreation Department we have been able to go paddle boarding using adaptive paddle boards and spend time as a family.”

2014 winter park phone pics 2972014 winter park phone pics 3032014 winter park phone pics 309Three years after his discharge from Craig, the Therapeutic Recreation Department took John and his two girls skiing using adaptive recreational ski equipment.

“It’s been three years since my daughters and I were able to have fun together without having to worry about my body. Seeing the smiles on my daughters’ faces brought me to tears. It was just fun to feel like a family again.”John Final - with fam

Unfortunately, the Therapeutic Recreation Department is not covered by insurance and depends on community support. Consider supporting the Therapeutic Recreation Department today! Your donation will be matched by the generous makers of SpeediCathdollar-for-dollar.