Rehab reunion strengthens sense of community

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Patients of the QLI Rehab Center gathered for a reunion Friday night. The facility specializes in spinal cord injuries.

For many of those on hand it was more than renewing old acquaintances. They say it's about connecting members of a community who understand each others challenges.

“It wasn't about living your life in a chair, it was about living your life." Those are important words for Andrew Kaufman. The former stunt man sustained a spinal cord injury in June.

“There is kind of an emotional factor as well.” Jon Schuetz, Kaufman's mentor, says there's more than bones and muscles to heal. The real challenge is mental, which is why this event that brought 40 former patients together is huge.

Smiles were all around, a reminder to newer patients like Kaufman that everyone has their ups and downs. “One of the most important things I've talked to him about is going through those hard days, but it reminds me you're being a human if you have those days. It's okay. It's just an amazing thing to see people come back from a place like this and coming back with a smile on their face without any energy of negativity at all. It's amazing to watch that...hugs, smiles and positive conversations."