After a Brain Injury, Jordan McGee Develops New Approach to Life
Before his car accident in December 2013, Jordan McGee, 25, of Charlotte, N.C., worked 50 to 70 hours a week as a manager of a high-end women’s clothing store. “My life was my job,” he says. “To go from that to not being able to work at all, it was difficult to come to terms with.”
Jordan sustained a traumatic brain injury in the accident. At times during his stay at Shepherd Center, Jordan remembers sitting up in his bed, yelling: “I don’t have time for this! I have work to do!”
He eventually came to embrace his situation with newfound patience. “It surprised me,” Jordan says. “The emotional and intellectual development that has come with this has been priceless. I wouldn’t be living as wholly or happily as I am without the perspective this experience has brought.”
Rapid improvement with occupational, physical and speech therapies allowed Jordan to go home in mid-March 2014, three months earlier than estimated.
“I had the most incredible and encouraging rehabilitation staff,” he says. “I owe them my ability to speak and walk as well as I do. My daily function is a direct result of the successes they made possible.”
Back home in Charlotte, Jordan incrementally worked his way back to full-time employment at his job. He discovered he enjoyed the rest of his life more, too. Jordan credits that to his new approach to life, developed at Shepherd Center, as well as the support of his family, his partner Chris and his best friend Jo.
“The endless support I felt from Jo – who drove from Charlotte to Atlanta on a weekly basis – and the emotional and physical encouragement of my family were critical to my recovery,” Jordan says. “Without them, I’m not sure I would have been able to meet, much less fall in love with, the man of my dreams.”
His continued growth includes volunteer projects and work with the Charlotte chapter of the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina. “I have a simple mantra now: ‘Be kind, be honest, be compassionate,’” Jordan says. “I don’t have the time or tolerance to be otherwise!”
Written by Phillip Jordan
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.