Madonna's GOAL Awards recognize, inspire
On Friday, the Lincoln Madonna Rehab Hospital held its annual GOAL Awards.
On Friday, the Lincoln Madonna Rehab Hospital held its annual GOAL Awards, in which they recognize four people who have shown courage and determination during their recovery from debilitating injuries.
Two of them are from Nebraska, including 23–year–old Andrew Strom.
Three years ago, Andrew had just finished National Guard training. One night, during an alcohol–fueled depression, he jumped from a third–story window, breaking several vertebrae.
Even though doctors told him he would never walk again, Andrew said a good attitude pushed him through therapy.
"I remember things like my drill sergeants would say in basic training," he said. "'Resilience.' Being resilient....for the past almost three years now...that resilience has kept me going."
Joey Bierman of Battle Creek said in 2016, a friendly wrestling match took a bad turn.
"We both fell and I landed on my head and cracked C4, C5 and burst fracture C6," Joey said. "So now I'm a C7 incomplete."
Like Andrew, Joey was determined to push through
"Kind of just knew that my life kind of took a turn for the worse and I would do anything and everything i could to make sure every stone was turned," Joey said.
Those qualities are why Madonna nominated patients like them to receive awards.
They said their stories inspire other patients facing similar adversity.
"When they see that they can do it, that they can have success as so many others have, I think it gives them that added bit of endurance, perseverance and strength," said Vice President of Rehabilitation Chris Lee.
Some of Madonna's halls are covered with the stories of previous goals awards recipients.
"Showing just the courage that these individuals have shown during the recovery process and that's inspired literally thousands of other patients in their recovery," Lee said.
Andrew seems to agree.
"I would go through and read everyone's story kind of as an inspiration to keep me motivated," he said.
And now, his story will help inspire others.