In the blink of an eye, Austin Rohrer’s life changed forever in September 2013. The active 13-year-old hopped on his ATV with the intent of helping his neighbor with some farm chores. As he backed out of his driveway, he was hit by a car. He was air-lifted to Hershey Medical Center where it was discovered that Austin had a broken pelvis, his left leg was damaged and almost severed, and he had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. The doctors told his parents during his 10-week hospital stay that he would not be able to speak, walk or function again. This was alarming for his parents because in addition to being the “life of the party” Austin had always been extremely athletic, participating in soccer, tennis, track and especially swimming, at which he excelled.
Austin proved the doctors wrong. By the following spring he was able to step out of his wheelchair. Through determination and divine intervention, Austin slowly regained his speech and the ability to use his arms, and his cognitive functions began to improve. The doctors who had told him he would not be able to walk again were astounded when he walked for them upon a return visit to Hershey Med Center.
Through years of therapy and diligent support from his parents and his sister, Austin slowly learned how to walk and to speak again, and even completed high school.
Almost 3 years ago, Austin and his family turned to UDS Supports Coordination for help in acting as liaison for Austin’s state waiver. His Supports Coordinator, April Vassilos, plans, seeks out and monitors services and resources within the community to help support Austin in his daily care and long-term needs. April monitors Austin’s progress and makes in-home visits to make sure everything is running smoothly with his plan.
Austin’s mother, Sue, says: “April is wonderful. If we need anything, we let her know and she is there for us. UDS has helped Austin connect to all of his home health needs and all of his continuing therapies that he needs to continue to progress. We are very happy with UDS.”
As an extra bonus, Austin has regained some of his former athleticism by participating in the UDS Challenger Football League. He also socializes with others through UDS and recently won a prize for his costume at UDS’ annual Halloween Party.
Sue also told us: “Without the help from UDS there would be no way for Austin to receive the critical services that he needs or to have some of the social opportunities that he has. Austin wants to have friends, to go places and be a happy 23-year–old, and UDS helps with this as well.”
Your donation to UDS can help Austin and others like him have the happy ending they so richly deserve.