“It is important to seize opportunities and take advantage of what we are offered,” says Ben Hernandez. And he’s done exactly that.
When he was 19, Ben Hernandez was on his way to a job site when the vehicle he was in hit a tree. The accident left Ben facing what would be one of his biggest challenges and greatest motivators: A spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. He arrived at Craig Hospital in October, 1998 and rehabbed at Craig for two months before returning home to Florida. Missing the culture of Craig and the expertise of Craig Hospital staff, Ben moved to Colorado in 2005 to focus on his independence and wellness.
Ben is grateful to Craig Hospital’s award winning SCI Nurse Advice Line for guiding him through spinal cord injury related health concerns over the years. Through his workouts at Craig Hospital’s PEAK Center, an adaptive wellness facility for individuals with neurological conditions to optimize their recovery, Ben gained the strength to transition from a motorized chair to a manual chair and in the process lost over 75 pounds. With his focus on “fitness and philanthropy,” he enjoys adventurous opportunities offered through Craig’s Therapeutic Recreation and volunteers his time with Craig Hospital Foundation’s Community Engagement Team. Ben has also returned to work as a peer mentor and he is thankful to Craig for giving him the skills to be successful in the workforce.
Ben will celebrate his birthday on December 9th, alongside Colorado Gives Day. Schedule your gift today for Colorado Gives Day to support Ben and other patients who redefine possible at Craig Hospital.