Injured Runner Finds Road to Recovery

An often overlooked factor of being hospitalized due to sickness or injury is the debilitation of one’s mental equilibrium due to a fear of the unknown. As someone who has been blind since birth, I thought I had a firm grasp on dealing with unknown factors until I was seriously injured in August of 2012 while training for my 18th marathon in Central Park. The injuries I sustained from being struck from behind by a bicyclist going approximately 35mph caused me to be hospitalized for over nine weeks in Eleven West. One moment I was an IronMan Triathlete and 17-time marathoner...the next, I was a helpless patient who was totally reliant on others to perform basic functions like getting dressed and going to the bathroom. I was suddenly enveloped by a fear of not knowing how I would begin the long road to recovery while requiring the assistance of others at all times.

Then I heard the compassionate words of my nurse as she said, “We love to care for people and help them. We love doing what we do.” Upon hearing those words, my fear left me as quickly as it had come upon me. If it were not for the extraordinary staff of people working as a team in Eleven West, I know my recovery would have taken a different path. The doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and staff of Mount Sinai and Eleven West gave me my life back...and for that I owe them everything.

-Richard Bernstein

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