Greg Finger was working in China and had returned home for a visit in the spring of 2013. Like many times before, he went for a swim with two friends and his dog Bella at a local pond. On this day, Greg experienced a near fatal dive, striking his head and sinking to the bottom of the pond. He was unable to move his arms or legs and his lungs quickly filled with water. Fortunately, his friend Bobby knew something was wrong and dove in to rescue Greg.
Greg was soon airlifted to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA and underwent a 6-hour surgery. He had suffered a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) at the C5/C6 level and fractures to the associated vertebrae. When Greg awoke, he had minimal movement in his arms, none in his fingers and no movement below the waist. Greg remained in the ICU for approximately 1-month fighting through a number of serious medical challenges.
Despite the significant battles he faced and the fact he was unable to fully communicate, Greg kept smiling. His smile created a special bond for all those who cared for him or were in his presence at the hospital. His goal was clear: regain his health, strength and stabilize his condition.
Later that summer, Greg moved to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, MA. He was still on a feeding tube with a trachea but rehabilitation would quickly change his condition. Slowly, Greg learned how to sit-up, roll over, and successfully transfer to his wheelchair. With the help of nerve stimulation, Greg began to regain movement in his left hand, fingers, and later his left toes and knee. Soon, Greg made his proclamation known to all stating, “I’m going to walk out of this place!”
Early that fall, Greg achieved his goal, departing Spaulding Rehab Hospital with the assistance of a walker. Despite his diagnosis was C4 ASIA D tetraplegia (quadriplegic), his physical and neurological progression were incredible.
Today, Greg continues to make remarkable progress but still faces significant paralysis in his limbs. The small things we take for granted, like getting out of bed, showering, writing, using a computer or basic kitchen items remain arduous routines for Greg. Yet he continues to face these challenges with a smile and uncanny determination.
Greg recently found a rehabilitation program in Canton, MA named Journey Forward (www.journey-forward.org) that has helped accelerate his progress. Journey Forward is an intense, exercise-based recovery program that works solely with spinal cord injury patients focusing on the stimulation of nerves, load bearing and gait training.
When coupled with the outpatient physical and occupational therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the exercise and strength program at Journey Forward offers Greg optimal care for his condition.
Journey Forward is a privately funded program and is not covered by insurance or public health plans. Greg currently benefits from 3-6 hours of therapy each week at the cost of $100 per hour. Average monthly bills are upwards of $2,400, all out of pocket.
Hope Strengthens Foundation recently learned about Greg’s story. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we’ve been able to contribute resources directly to Greg’s Journey Forward Program bills, covering 26-hours of therapy to-date.
With your help, we’ll be able to cover many more hours of physical therapy to help Greg thrive. You can contribute today by visiting hopestrengthens.org/donations. When completing your donation, please note that your contribution is for Greg Finger and we will ensure 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes to his Journey Forward bills.
Please view this inspirational video that Greg produced, documenting his recovery…
We believe that Greg’s unstoppable spirit and dedication will allow him to regain his health and achieve his full potential. Let’s work together to help Greg meet and exceed his goals.
On behalf of Greg and his family, THANK YOU!