Jackie Lithgow: A Future Nearly Denied, A Spirit Undeterred
Most college undergraduates face challenges. All-night cram sessions. Demanding professors. Juggling adult responsibilities. But these difficulties in comparison to Jackie Lithgow’s experience at Bloomsburg University in 2014.
Jackie attended a closed fraternity party. During the event, a fight broke out. Without hesitating, he tried to break it up.
It was a decision that altered the course of his life.
Looking back, Jackie talks without fanfare about the moment he was punched and fell. His head hit the pavement. And everything changed in a heartbeat.
His parents got the dreaded call: Their son was hospitalized at Geisinger Bloomsberg Hospital. When they arrived, they were met by a chaplain and social worker. The outlook for Jackie was dire. Within an hour-and-a-half of their arrival, he was undergoing the first of what would be many brain surgeries to address his traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Faced with a grim diagnosis, Jackie’s family rallied to support him. The community talked about the case. A buzz built. Months passed, and he defied the odds. But the course of his life had been forever changed. He had to relearn basic life skills like walking and talking. Yet faith and fortitude proved stronger than his injuries.
Now, almost four years post-incident, Jackie is a different person than he would have been without his experience. Yet he isn’t bitter or angry; he’s patient and thoughtful. In fact, he’s just happy to be able to live life fully thanks to the people who helped him achieve success. He’s also a fan of the equipment they used to facilitate healing, including aquatic therapy.
See how Jackie was introduced to aquatic therapy while still in a wheelchair, and the incredible progress he made by watching this exclusive video featuring him and his parents.