Nate Harrison has never backed down from a challenge. As a Marine Corp Veteran and former Kansas City Missouri Police Officer, Nate has experienced his share of mental and physical tests. No one could have predicted the challenges 2016 would bring for the Harrison family, proving Nate to be a true warrior.
Being an avid motorcycle rider, Nate took advantage of the mild Midwest winter and hit the road with a few of his friends in late December. After a morning of riding, the group split up and Nate headed home. On the exit ramp he swerved to avoid debris, an animal, or another driver as he is still uncertain of what was in the road that day. Nate and his motorcycle flew through a gap in the guardrail, down a grassy embankment, and into a large highway sign. The accident left Nate lying on the side of the highway for hours with an amputated right leg, broken left ankle, shattered teeth, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Luckily, a passerby finally saw the wreckage and called 911.
The next thing Nate remembers is waking up a few weeks later at an inpatient facility realizing he had an above the knee amputation. He was also dealing with the loss of his vision due to TBI. At that point he knew he had to get better for his wife, his three sons, and for himself. Two months later, on March 28, Nate started therapy at Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City (RIKC) for physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Nate set goals to walk again using a right lower extremity prosthesis and to regain his vision. Over the course of 5 ½ months, Nate saw significant improvements in his strength and vision. He worked with his physical therapist, Adam Jennings, diligently three days a week on regaining strength, endurance, and balance through prosthetic training. Eman Amro and Jenelle Lee, his occupational therapists, worked on regaining Nate’s lost vision so he could identify colors and shapes while improving his scanning, depth perception, color contrast, and navigation skills.
Considering Nate was given less than a 1% chance of survival, his success can only be described as a miracle. He is the picture of strength and determination. Nate said, “This has been a long road but I am excited to be ending this chapter of therapy”. Nate and his family will be taking a break over the next month to vacation before his sons return to school in the fall.