Before his injury, Tristan Blake enjoyed spending time with his three-year-old daughter. Aside from doing fun activities with her, he liked to work on vehicles and go fishing. Working in construction comes with its risks, but Tristan never imagined an accident like this would happen to him.
Tristan had a near-death experience while working road construction. A piece of heavy equipment knocked him down, running over his thighs and injuring his foot. As it kept coming toward him, he was lucky enough to drag himself away before it could do any more damage. After the accident, he explained, “I didn’t think I’d get back to normal and thought I’d be in a wheelchair.”
Tristan was immediately taken to the hospital where he spent 47 days. He underwent six surgeries before moving to a rehabilitation facility in Louisville. Although he started his recovery in Louisville, Tristan knew he wanted to be closer to home. His providers recommended Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital. They told him, “SIRH is known to be the best place to go in Southern Indiana.”
Starting in the outpatient therapy department, Tristan explained, “I needed a lot of help in the beginning and I didn’t think I’d get back to normal.”
Initially on crutches, Tristan worked hard at his recovery. He wanted to be able to do things with his daughter again and fought for that reality every day. Tristan worked hard with his therapists on various equipment and did regular stretching exercises.
Because of Tristan’s dedication, he moved from crutches to something he never thought he could do again—walking on his own. He said, “My balance and range of motion is much better since being at SIRH.” He no longer experiences pain in his legs or his foot and can walk without limping.
At the start of his recovery, Tristan defined success as not giving up and keeping a positive attitude. He stated, “You may have setbacks, but it’s important to have faith, keep going, and push yourself.” As Tristan continues to progress, he looks forward to getting back to his family and the life he lived before the accident.