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Ben Schultz’s Climb Above


Every day, firefighters shoulder the responsibility of protecting and maintaining the safety of their community. In Ben Schultz’s case, a firefighter of the Anchorage, Alaska Fire Department, that meant providing life-saving aid to one of their own.

During a June 2017 training exercise, 29-year-old Ben Schultz tumbled nearly 100 feet down a ladder. The list of injuries he sustained in the fall proved enormous–among them, two broken ankles, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung–but perhaps none were more critical, with greater impact on his life, than the damage suffered by his brain.

Ben’s story is a journey in the truest sense, a path of progress that starts in perhaps the bleakest place–near-death with a sliver of hope for survival–and continues to evolve with each passing day. Ben came to QLI in 2018 for intensive brain injury rehabilitation with an expert battalion of clinicians and the support of Omaha-area partners like the Firefighting and EMS training teams at Metropolitan Community College. KTVA 11 News, a television organization based out of Anchorage, Alaska, shadowed Ben’s QLI program for three days to gain a comprehensive sense of his staggering progress, incredible willpower, and star-bright future.

You can see the four-part story below:

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