Brandon Jones finishes an occupational therapy activity with SDS Staff Glenn McClone, an SDS staff member and brain injury certified specialist.
Brandon Jones and his mother, Hope Jones.
Brandon Jones and his father, Gino Jones, enjoying the family pool
Before the accident, Brandon was a voracious weightlifter and physical fitness guru. Besides possibly saving his life, this was the catalyst that Hope used to get him into physical therapy.
Glenn McClone, Brandon’s SDS Day Habilitation and Brain Injury Certified Specialist, has worked with Brandon for four years. “We tried everything!” he said. “Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, music therapy, whatever Brandon would take to. In the beginning, we would go to Vestal three times a week, but that became unsustainable. We needed a new facility to take over his physical therapy.”
Even with his vast improvements, Hope could tell that Brandon was not completely happy and looked to rectify this situation by getting him into a gym. “We felt the gym & personal training was the best place for Brandon because he was a weightlifter before his accident,” she said. “He spent six-days-a-week in the gym, so there was no better setting for him to regain those skills.”
Hope, Glenn, and the rest of the SDS team brought Brandon to KW Fitness in Vestal, NY. Cory Snow, Brandon’s trainer, and Kevin Webb, owner/operator of the gym, had never worked with anyone with TBI, but were willing to take up the challenge. Extensive research was done, and they came up with a plan. They got on the floor with Brandon and started to teach him exercises from scratch. Brandon’s demeanor began to change instantly, a sparkle in his eyes had returned. “Brandon has progressed mentally, physically, and emotionally since starting at KW,” said Hope. “When he started, he couldn’t even hold his head up. He had no head or neck control, he was not speaking at all and was still mentally in a fog. Since then, he has regained his speech, is understanding and very clear cognitively, and he loves being in the gym with Cory. The atmosphere brings out the best in him.” Glenn reinforces this optimism. “His progress has been amazing!” he said. “At the beginning of this journey, Brandon could not move, his core strength was nil—today, he does 50 to 60 crunches every morning!”
Brandon’s journey has been a difficult one. Although he is much improved, his journey will continue for the rest of his life. But with the help of his family, SDS, and KW Fitness, he is on track to grow and meet new goals every day.
There is a lot of misconception about what Self-Directed Services are. It took time for Hope to realize that this life-changing support was available to her. But once she took the help available, it positively altered the direction of her family’s life. Today, Hope participates in support groups for families in similar situations and acts as a resource for others to help them get the help that they need. Hope is an extremely strong person, and without SDS, it’s certain she would have found a way. But everyone can use a little help sometimes, and we are glad she chose Springbrook to provide her with the support she, her family, and Brandon deserve.