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Rachael’s story: What it takes to recover


As part of the launch of TeamQLI, a video featuring QLI’s rehab expertise was a MUST. The creative minds behind the video knew it would require an emotional anchor, a client of QLI’s rehabilitation programming whose enthusiasm and spirit would give the production a powerful, lively sensibility. For that, they chose Rachael Johnson, a 20-year-old woman currently enrolled in QLI’s spinal cord rehabilitation program. She fell asleep while driving in the middle of the night, crashed her car and suffered a spinal cord injury. Rachael has since taken to Twitter and YouTube to provide inspiration and awareness for individuals with quadriplegia.

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“I was ecstatic when QLI asked me to represent them in the video,” Rachael said. “Without QLI, their passion and dedication, I wouldn’t have made it this far toward getting my life back. None of us here in this rehab program would. That’s a big deal, and I want to help spread that word.”

For three days, the video production team followed Rachael to capture the sheer breadth and scope of her daily programming. They filmed as she worked toward hitting and surpassing her therapeutic goals on QLI’s campus—including intensive work with her physical and occupational therapy teams. And the team got an inside look at her clinical team’s efforts – the strategy and attention to detail powering her path to independence.

The functional, real-world elements of Rachael’s day were important dimensions to represent as well. To do that, the team accompanied Rachael as she attended class at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and as she met up with her best friend at Jones Bros. Cupcakes in Omaha’s Aksarben neighborhood.

“The experience could have been really overwhelming,” Rachael said, “but, really, it was just a lot of fun. Everything they recorded was the real thing. It was genuine. So they had the chance to see what makes QLI’s approach so unique. And hopefully we can share that with the people who are out there, with injuries, who really need that positive reinforcement.”

You can follow Rachael on Twitter (@LiveRachaelsWay) and on her YouTube channel.

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