In 2017, father Jason Bedford was in a car accident he was told would leave him wheelchair-bound. But just a handful of years later, he has defied the odds stacked against him.
Bedford recalled feeling as though he had lost complete control of his vehicle, telling WTNH-TV he “rolled down an embankment and was unconscious,” describing the entire ordeal as “an interesting out of body experience.”
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The harrowing crash left Bedford, a resident of Madison, Connecticut, with multiple fractures across his body and a paralyzed left leg, forever changing his life — in more ways than one.
In fact, Bedford told the news outlet the accident convinced him humans are spiritual beings with physical bodies.
The father-of-one remembered hearing a nurse tell him to get accustomed to being in a wheelchair. While the comment certainly left Bedford discouraged, he said it also motivated him to do everything he could to build back his strength so he could continue to be just as actively involved in his daughter’s life as he was before the crash.
“She was afraid for me, and I told her I was going to work as hard as I could,” he said of the nurse.
There is no doubt he worked hard — very hard.
Physical therapist Andrew McIsaac of Gaylord Specialty Healthcare said he and Bedford immediately connected.
“Things started to take off,” he said. “Suddenly, he was doing some walking, not using crutches anymore.”
That, though, isn’t all Bedford had to work through.
In addition to the physical recovery, Bedford also became dependent on pain killers following the accident — an issue that inspired the wise owl tattoo he has on his forearm.
“I returned to graduate school, and I got a master’s in clinical psychology,” said Bedford. “I couldn’t have asked for a more meaningful group of people who are really committed and passionate about their work.”
So moved by his struggle with opioids, Bedford is now care coordinator for Aware Recovery Care.
“My approach to addiction counseling, and working with the families of alcoholics and addicts, focuses on addressing the underlying conditions that are the root of the problem,” he explained in his profile.
Bedford — who has recently taken up horseback riding with his daughter — is making great strides in his journey back to complete health.
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