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5 stories of triumph: Car accident left man a quadriplegic and is now thriving

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MURRAY, UT (ABC4UTAH) — It’s a place where miracles and progress are made everyday. The team at Intermountain Medical Center Neuro Rehab Program helps people get back to a meaningful life after a traumatic event.  
We continues our 5 part series on survival and triumph.
30-year-old Miles Nielsen was always focused on work, until an accident left him paralyzed. The highly specialized team at Intermountain Medical Center helped him live life as a quadriplegic.

Miles Nielsen 30, “March 16th, I was on the way to work and had a car accident and drove underneath a semi trailer.”

Miles Nielsen was paralyzed from the chest down.
“My C7 vertebrae shattered and fragments injured my spinal cord.”
Miles was a self prescribed workaholic as a printing press operator in California, when his world changed dramatically in an instant.
He was lucky to be alive. After spending a month in ICU, Miles came to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray and eventually the 12th floor at the hospital’s Neuro Rehab Center.

Occupational Therapist Bonnie Larsen worked with Miles, where he learned how to get out of bed and to eat on his own.

Bonnie, “the relationship propels the therapy process forward and there has to be that trust. You’re just going to have to trust me that I don’t have all the answers but we’re going to problem solve together.”

Like Miles, each patient works with a team of specialists to provide therapy, nursing, medical treatment and education.
The team also works with past patients who help mentor current patients who can give even more hope.

Joseph Taggart was in a surfing accident 12 years ago. Today he is an attorney at his own law firm in Salt Lake City.

He’s helped Miles see how he can live an independent and fulfilling life.

“I find it rewarding to go back and meet people who have recently had a spinal cord injury or traumatic event to let them know there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Miles, “We don’t know what we are capable of enduring until we have to. You can take it as an opportunity to start over again, you are in a whole new body but with the benefit of experience.”

Now Miles is on a path to creating a future he’s always wanted: going back to school and becoming a writer.
He credits the Intermountain Medical Center Neuro Rehab Center that uses a holistic approach in healing.
They provide physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology and emotional support including counseling and nursing care.

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