Tim Benjamin

Having a sore back was nothing new for Tim Benjamin, having worked many years in the construction industry. So doing some “usual” heavy lifting one day, Tim didn’t think anything of it. That was, until the next day when he experienced severe back pain.

Tim tried to ignore it as most people do, figuring it’d resolve soon enough. But five days later and no relief in sight, Tim’s son insisted on taking him to the emergency room. There, tests revealed an abscess on Tim’s lumbar spine and sepsis. So Tim underwent surgery, which left a scar stretching from his neck to his bottom.

Experiencing respiratory failure due to sepsis, Tim had a tracheostomy placed and required a ventilator to breathe for him. “They contacted my son and told him they didn’t think I’d survive.” Tim doesn’t remember much from this time, as he was sedated, but the ICU’s physical therapy and nursing staff didn’t hold much hope for his survival. But Tim is a fighter with a lot to live for and refused to give up.

“Nothing is impossible. It just takes longer.”

Having spent three months in the hospital, Tim was told he probably wouldn’t walk for at least two years with extensive therapy. He then transferred to Ballard Rehabilitation Hospital for intensive inpatient rehabilitation. Tim arrived requiring extensive assistance to dress and sit up, but also extremely motivated to work. “I’m willing to do therapy as many times a day as possible,” he stated.

Tim made significant improvements during his stay at Ballard. He can now transfer to his wheelchair and stand up without holding on to anything for support. He believes he will walk again in six months, and we’re not betting against him! Tim discharged home with his family to continue his recovery on an outpatient basis. He left us all with a valuable lesson: you can overcome anything with the right attitude.