Gary Hausmann says he is blessed to be an active donor and volunteer at Madonna. This chief commercial pilot of Werner Enterprises has savored life from the cockpit of an airplane most of his life. However, in September of 2006, Gary was riding his motorcycle from work to home, when a car, which was rear-ended, slid into his path. The helmeted Hausmann suffered a broken vertebrae and a traumatic brain injury. Gary was admitted to the Lincoln Campus in a wheelchair, with very limited ability to speak. Thanks to intensive physical and occupational therapy, Gary was able to return home and to his life as a commercial pilot. Some 13 years later, he gives so much back to Madonna as a donor and member of the Foundation Board.
We recently caught up with Gary to find out what motivates him to pay it forward as a member of Madonna's Foundation Board.
- Tell us about how you first got involved with Madonna.
I first became involved with Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals when I was a patient, after a very serious motorcycle accident.
- What are some of the things that you find most inspiring about Madonna?
The most inspiring aspect of Madonna to me is the fact that I happened to recover so well. According to my wife, relatives, and friends, I was in very critical condition when I arrived at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals’ Lincoln Campus. Just 3 ½ weeks later I was released and walked out of the facility.
- What inspired/motivated you to join the Board at Madonna?
I feel truly blessed to have recovered so well from my traumatic accident! I had always kept in close contact with many staff members and patients at Madonna. So, when I was asked to join the Board, I did not hesitate! It is the least I can do for an organization that helped me so much!
- Why do you give back to Madonna as a donor and volunteer?
I give and volunteer to pay it forward to make sure world-class rehabilitation is available for the next ‘Gary Hausmann’. It’s important for our community to have this kind of resource available for all.
- What makes our mission meaningful to you?
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals makes every patient a separate mission. It is so unusual and inspirational. Every patient is treated as a unique person with unique needs the day they are admitted.
- What distinguishes Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals from other organizations?
I wish people could understand the importance of having Madonna so close to us. Hopefully you will never have to be admitted there as a patient, but if the need arises you should be glad that Madonna is available for you! I often wonder where I would be without their help.
- Do you have any stories about Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals that really moved you?
The story that really moves me (and I have heard several) regarding Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals is my own. I can honestly say when I was discharged, I was encouraged and expected to get back to my flying career – a goal most people would not have dreamed possible. Yet, in less than 4 years after my accident, I was back in the cockpit as a pilot-in-command. Thank you Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals!
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To see more members of the Madonna Foundation Board, click here.