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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Wichita father celebrates one year since his accident

February 02, 2017

Wichita father celebrates one year since his accident from Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals on Vimeo.


LINCOLN, Neb. (MADONNA)--John Cummings came to Madonna last January after falling from his roof while taking down his Christmas lights. He is thrilled to be where he is today, just one year later.

He continues to have therapy in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, but is thankful for his time spent with the therapy team at Madonna.

“I just want to say, ‘Hey Lori, look what I can do now. Look at this,'” said John as he danced in his living room.

John showed off his dance moves for his physical therapist, Lori, in a recent video chat. He has a lot to celebrate after a life-changing accident.

"When John first got here, he was still in a wheelchair. So, we started working on him just being able to get around a little bit more independently," said Lori Holz, John's physical therapist.

In January 2016, while taking down his Christmas lights, John took a 10-foot tumble off his ladder onto concrete. He had immediate surgery to fuse a part of his spine back together.

"I was very very lucky to be in the position I am today," said John.

This January, John is able to run his janitorial business again and attend his daughter's cheer competitions.

A year ago he didn't think returning to his old life would be possible. That's when he came to Madonna.

"He was very motivated. He had actually really good motion in his legs so we started walking pretty quickly," said Lori.

Within his first month at Madonna, John was up and moving using technology like a bionic suit called the Ekso -- huge strides that made the journey more enjoyable.

"I worked hard every day. I was excited to go down to therapy and because it was nice to get out of the room and go see people for one, but the therapists there just were amazing. They worked you hard, and made sure you were on track, and setting goals," said John.

"He was so much fun. He made every day very enjoyable. He was great to work with," said Lori.

Madonna staff incorporated sweeping and window washing into his therapy to prepare him for his job.

"At the time I wasn't too happy about doing some of it, but yeah she followed through and made sure I was able to, you know, feel comfortable when I got home to go back to work, and so I do appreciate that as well," said John.

"His definite determination to get as good as he could. He was okay with, you know, being weaker. He didn't like it, but he worked with it," said Lori.

John's thankful for how far he's come but says it wouldn't have been possible without Madonna.

"Yeah it's amazing. Just all the small things that they do make such a huge improvement in your life."