Location, Lakewood, CO
When David Larkin was told his insurance company required a co-pay of several thousands of dollars for his new power wheelchair, he was worried. He hadn’t been working since he had been diagnosed with a staph infection that caused spinal epidural abscesses and loss of motor function. His wife was retired, and his Social Security benefits hadn’t kicked in yet.
“I didn’t know where the money would come from or how we’d do it,” says Larkin.”
Larkin’s wife Kristy spoke with their Craig inpatient Clinical Care Manager, who arranged for the funds to be paid out of the Craig Hospital Foundation’s Patient Assistance Fund. The fund also provided Larkin with shower chair and a refurbished donated manual wheelchair, allowing him to discharge to home.
“Craig made sure that I had the equipment I needed, it was such a big weight off our shoulders,” he says.
With the assistance of Craig’s Community Reintegration department and the Driving Program, he was able to return to his job with the federal government. The Larkins are now able to give back to the same Craig programs that helped them.
The couple has given to many of the Craig Hospital Foundation’s campaigns, and actively support Craig’s crowdfunding efforts through social media. They recently shared their story at the 2014 PUSH Dinner.
“It was a blessing to have been helped, and it’s a blessing to give help to others,” he says. “I feel like people should give what they can, even if it’s only a small amount.”
With this wife by his side, Larkin returns to Craig regularly to work out in the PEAK Center. He is involved with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) study at Craig, and traveled with the NRN team to participate in the Kentucky Derby Marathon in 2013. He was able to walk a ¼ mile with a walker, crossing the finish line to the cheers of his Craig family.
“That was one of the most inspiring moments I have been a part of as a physical therapist,” says Meghan Joyce, NRN Clinical Supervisor. “I believe the term “Redefining Possible” fits Dave Larkin and his personal journey navigating this devastating injury perfectly. “
Larkin believes that Craig’s outcomes speak for themselves. “When you give to another group or an organization, you know they do good work, but you don’t necessarily see it,” says Larkin. “But when you give to Craig, you see real outcomes—you see how the funds benefit people and allow them to improve emotionally and physically.”