Several years ago on July 4, while our country was celebrating its independence, 25-year-old Kesha Pilot was about to experience an accident that would take hers – at least initially. Traveling in her car with husband, Clay, and 2-year-old son, Parker, the Pilots had only one hour left to make it home from a 19-hour trip back from Florida. Kesha was at the wheel and had been fighting to stay awake. At 3:49 a.m., the Pilots were off the road and Kesha had lost control of the car.
“I remember Clay looked at me and said, ‘Oh my God honey,’ and I looked at him and said, ‘I don’t know what to do,’ and seconds later the car stopped,” Kesha recalled. Clay and Kesha unfastened each other’s seatbelt. Kesha’s adrenaline was so high that she didn’t realize the car was upside down until she turned to the backseat to look for her son and saw Parker dangling from his car seat.
Clay was able to exit the car and remove their virtually uninjured son. Kesha, however, could not move. “I told Clay that I couldn’t feel my legs,” Kesha said. She was rushed to Baptist Health-Little Rock and was in surgery by noon. She had suffered a spinal fracture, which is a typical seat belt injury from the pressure generated in car wrecks. Sadly, Kesha was paralyzed from the waist down.
The team at Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute (BHRI) came to Kesha’s aid within a few weeks of the accident to help her recover. Kesha remained positive and did everything she was asked to do for her recovery. She said, “They just did everything they could to help me restore my strength and confidence and I am grateful.” The first year “in the chair” was challenging, but Kesha was inspired to devote her time and experience to help others overcome similar obstacles to regain their independence as well.
With the help of generous donors throughout the community, our caregivers at BHRI have the specialized skills, equipment, and facilities to simulate the types of mobility situations that will challenge and restore patients to their highest level of function.
BHRI’s fully equipped kitchens, bedrooms, living room arrangements, bathrooms with tubs, showers, and movable toilets are able to closely replicate patients’ home settings, which result in efficient training and better outcomes.
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