Important COVID-19 Information Read More
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Sports coach practices what he preaches after spinal cord injury

September 29, 2017


A spinal cord injury isn't keeping Chad Fuller on the sidelines. The youth sports coach and assistant principal for David City, Nebraska, public schools says, "You have to practice what your preach." Through hard work, determination and having a positive attitude, he's working overtime to get back on the job of working with and making a difference in the lives of kids.

“Go to Gmail dot com.” Chad Fuller checks his work email by speaking into a headset connected via Blue Tooth to the desktop computer. 

“I’m using the Dragon program today and it’s allowing me to stay in touch with school. ‘Cause I’m looking at my work email and I’m touch with different students throughout the day. It makes me feel like I’m confident that I can get back and do the job the way I need to do it,” said Chad.

Earlier this summer, Chad was at a lake party with family and friends when he suffered a spinal cord injury. His brother and son helped save his life. Chad came to Madonna's Lincoln Campus to better equip himself to head back to school as an assistant principal. 

“Been able to use my cell phone for calls and texts and can use my wheelchair also to navigate. (I) got to go on an outing to David City High School, Molly set that up for me. And so we could go and see the access to the building and how I’d get around and we surprised everyone,” said Chad.

A youth sports coach, Chad is also hearing from his former athletes who are taking pages out of his playbook about the benefits of hard work, determination and not giving up.

“You have to practice what you preach. I’ve heard a lot from my former athletes I need to go back to those lessons and drive myself and even some of them have coached me: keep working hard and those kinds of things. Makes you feel good that you’ve done something right," said Chad.

“It’s bittersweet because the care and the therapy that I’ve gotten here has been so outstanding that I don’t want to leave yet. But at the same token, I know it’s one step closer to getting back to independence,” said Chad.

Learn more about Madonna's spinal cord injury program.