In February of 2008, an EF-4 tornado touched down at Union University in Jackson, TN. David Wilson, a 19-year-old freshman soccer player, was buried under a dormitory building for five hours. When he awoke the next day, David quickly learned that the traumatic events of the night before had left him unable to move his legs. David and his family started hearing the word “amputation” amongst his physicians.
In the days that followed, he underwent multiple surgeries as physicians attempted to spare his legs. Fortunately, the surgeries worked. After 67 days in three different hospitals across Tennessee, on April 11 David was able to walk out of the hospital on crutches.
Months of rehab followed and, David has now regained much of his strength back. He was able to return to Union and graduated in May of 2012. Today he lives back in Chattanooga. The battle was long and often brutal. Within three weeks of the storm David developed a devastating nerve disorder that gave him unbearable pain. Doctors gave him little hope for dealing with or curing the pain. The strongest drugs helped very little. Not only was he faced with the daunting task of learning to walk again, he had to do it in the midst of severe pain for which there was often no relief.
Through those toughest days, the Wilson family saw something amazing happen. It seemed that every time David’s recovery hit a speed bump in the road or even a wall at times, there was always someone, often who they didn’t even know before the injury, that would show up and help them over the immediate struggle. The love and encouragement that was poured into David and his family throughout those nine weeks has changed their lives tremendously. Because of what they saw and learned, the Wilson family is burdened to help other young people with battles and hurdles similar to their own. They want to be that hand that lifts others over the walls that seem impossible to climb. That is why they have joined with family friends to start Steps2Hope.
Steps2Hope is a non-profit organization committed to serving the Lord by ministering to young adults that have found themselves immobile due to a traumatic event. Steps2Hope’s plan is to meet these individuals in their process of recovery and help them by providing each individual’s specific needs. It may include, but is not limited to things like wheelchairs, modifications to homes to allow the patients to function more efficiently, or even accessible vehicles. We don’t yet know what these individuals’ needs may be, but we are confident we will not have a hard time finding people who could use help from our community.