But this loyal husband and father of three from Simi Valley wasn’t going to be defeated.
“I wanted to set an example that no matter what adversity is thrown at you, you have to pull your bootstraps up and move along,” White says. It soon became obvious that he wasn’t getting the kind of rehabilitation he needed, so he transferred to the Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.
White was impressed with the level of personal attention and expertise from day one. “They surrounded me with support, and nothing was forced on me with the exception of ‘You’re here to get better.
Physical therapy is a must,’ ” he says. White participated in physical and occupational therapy for about three hours a day. He also requested additional time in the gym and asked for exercise equipment in his room so he could keep working on his own.
It wasn’t long before White’s hard work paid off, and he had acquired the skills he needed to return home. “You can’t go home without learning how to safely transfer into a car from your wheelchair,” he explains. “I also learned to get dressed, maneuver my wheelchair and build the core strength needed to sit up straight after my spinal cord injury.”
White, who is now 43, has returned to his job as an information technology manager, and shows his gratitude to the Providence Saint Joseph team by volunteering in the acute rehab department on weekends. “They taught me what I needed so I can be as independent as possible,” says White. “I’m able to play catch with my son, and I’m glad he can see that even though I’m in a wheelchair, there are a lot of things I can do.”