My Second Chance For Life - By Tony Giglio

May 2012

I'll never forget November 24, 2004. I was 16 years old, driving to Emmaus High School when an 18-wheel tractor-trailer T-boned my car. It was horrifying. My head hit the window frame, causing traumatic brain injury. I spent a long time at Lehigh Valley Hospital before being transferred to the brain injury unit at Good Shepherd Rehabiltation Hospital in Allentown. When I was admitted, I couldn't do anything. I had to start my life all over again; and it began right here at Good Shepherd.

I stayed there 32 days. I was determined to continue fighting every day. I remember how the doctors and therapists helped me stay motivated.  Each person made all the difference in my successful recovery. 

Nearly eight years later, I'm twenty-four years old and graduating from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a degree in communications. I'm coming home to the Lehigh Valley and taking an online sports management class from Kutztown University. I'm proud to get this far.

I realize now that with hard work, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.  I understand that great accomplishments take time.  I was released from Good Shepherd because of my love of life and determination.  I now want to give back to Good Shepherd by sharing my story of success. But it's not just about me. My appreciation for those who work at Good Shepherd constantly grows.  I have so much trust in Good Shepherd because of the confidence I have in everyone who works there.

What is so unique about Good Shepherd is that this is where people help others who need to win their lives back again.  I think I appreciate this more than many. Everything happens for a reason and not a second goes by that I don't cherish my second chance for life.

 

Pictured: Tony Giglio with his friend, Andrew Diggs, at Eckerd College.