As Director of Referees for Prince William Soccer, Inc. (PWSI), I saw the team SCUD’S COURAGE warming up to play in their championship game on Saturday. I looked to round up a couple of players for a picture and soon was being photographed with the entire team.
PWSI’s teams are called COURAGE and it was a perfect fit that this team married both the Scud and Courage names. Scott’s grandson, Kyle, plays on this team (pictured back right – next to me, I have my arm over his shoulder). I told him I was going to visit his grandfather on Monday.
On Monday (Nov 4) I went to Kessler. Margaret and I spent 10-15 minutes talking before going into see Scott. I learned he had a rough day on Sunday. Spinal cord injuries are complex and recovery is long. One should not picture him feeling great every day eating ice cream and watching TV. His body is still going through hell adjusting to his accident six weeks ago. It has been a roller coaster for him and will probably continue that way for a while.
Scott was in physical therapy, as he is every weekday, so I got to see him in his workout environment. He greeted me with a smile. His voice sounded great! We had just a typical conversation. He wanted to know what I had been up to and I wanted to know how he was doing.
We talked about his rehab and his physical therapist, Barbara, jumped right in with the conversation. When she remarked about his voice he broke out in tune, pretty loudly, “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA LA LA LA” up and down the scale, loud enough that a number of people turned and looked. Well, those people would be other physical therapists.
In this wing of the center were perhaps 30 patients, all working with therapists. And all are in pretty difficult situations. Scott pointed out a young man who was a motorcyclist and mountain biker. From Cumberland, Maryland. They rode many of the same trails.
Scott paused, reflecting, said he was lucky. He pointed out some people worse off than he was and mentioned the third floor was for patients like him — but with brain damage. He stated that he has his complete memory of his entire life.
Barbara moved Scott’s legs. Then she moved his arms. She suspended them midair on ropes and I made some “carnival music” since he looked like her marionette. He laughed. Barb’s ID has a sticker on it – Team SCUD. Another therapist, Rachel, came over, and Scott gave her a sticker. “You are now a member of Team SCUD.” I think he’s determined to make every staffer at Kessler part of Team SCUD.
Scott’s attitude is amazing. Knowing him you know it will get him through anything. But it doesn’t mean it will be easy or without setbacks. As he was telling me about this bicycle he can use at Kessler, Barbara broke the bad news to him. His blood pressure is not yet stable enough to allow him to use the bike. Scott said dejectedly “we chose this facility (in part) to use the bike.” I am thinking that in time his BP will stabilize and they will add this to rehabilitation routine. I know Scott is looking forward to it.
As I was getting ready to leave they had Scott maneuver his wheelchair over to a special rehab bed. Not sure it’s a “puffer” device – Margaret said this unit alone costs $5,000 – but he used his mouth/lips to drive the wheelchair. But it’s still tethered to the ventilator so he can’t go far until he gets a unit mounted on his wheelchair.
We didn’t talk about food but we know from Facebook that Scott recently had Navy bean soup, baked ziti, spinach, peaches and ice cream. So he’s eating some now but I understand still has a feeding tube.
We had a good visit and I look forward to my next visit. As I left he proudly told me that PWSI has approved Kyle’s team to wear those uniforms next season too. I’m happy that throughout the spring soccer season when I’m out on the fields I’ll always be reminded of Scud’s Courage.